Pretoria: Australia A produced a clinical all-round performance to beat India A by 25 runs to register a victory which ensured their place in the final of the tri-series here on Sunday.
With Australia qualifying for the summit clash, the result of final round robin match between India and South Africa will decide on other finalist.
Opting to bat, Australia scored 310 for seven riding on Shaun Marsh’s 96 and marauding Glenn Maxwell’s 56-ball 93. Bowlers then came back to dismiss India for 285 in 48.3 overs.
Despite best efforts from openers Rohit Sharma (61, 57 balls, 7x4, 2x6), Murali Vijay (60, 77 balls, 7x4, 1x6) and captain Cheteshwar Pujara (51, 64 balls, 4x4), Indians were stopped well short of target.
Seamers Josh Hazlewood (3/59) and Moises Henriques (3/24) were the most successful bowlers for Australia.
Young Pervez Rasool’s cameo (27, 23 balls, 3x4) wasn’t good enough to stop the Aussies from beating India for the second time in the tournament.
Indian batsmen started the chase in an impressive fashion with Sharma, who has been in red hot form, attacking the Aussie new ball bowers Hazlewood and Gurinder Sandhu as smacked seven fours along with two sixes in his 57-ball knock.
Sharma launched into Hazlewood hitting him over deep mid-wicket for a six and also got the maximum of Nathan Coultier-Nile. Such was Sharma's dominance that out of 79 runs added for the opening stand, the Mumbaikar scored 61.
Sharma’s 50 came off 48 balls and this was his third consecutive half-century in the tournament. Once Sharma was run-out, Vijay playing his first match of the tournament upped the ante in presence of his skipper Pujara. Pujara, who has been out of touch so far in this ‘African Safari’, finally found some form as he played himself in with a half-century.