Asia XI win Afro-Asia Cup 3-0


Chennai : Asia XI edged past Africa XI by 13 runs in the third and the inconsequential final one-day international match, completing a 3-0 clean sweep in the Afro-Asia Cup at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here Sunday.

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Chasing a target of 332 runs set by the Asians, the African batsmen gave a tough fight, thanks to a swashbuckling 86 from captain Justin Kemp that got them near sniffing distance of a consolation win but they fell short by a mere 13 runs.

Africa XI bowlers made an impressive start by reducing the Asians to 72 for five wickets in the 17th over. But a record sixth wicket partnership of 218 runs between Mahendra Singh Dhoni (139 not out) and captain Mahela Jayawardene (107) saw the Asia XI indulging in another run feast and pile up a mammoth 331 runs for eight wickets in 50 overs.

It was not going to be a easy run chase for the Africans in the day and night encounter but right from the word go they fought hard with Abraham de Villiers (70) and Vusi Sibanda (45) being the pace-setters during a 117-run opening stand.

Later, Kemp clobbered seven sixes and three fours on the final stretch but the African challenge fell short by 13 runs. Shaun Pollock also made an unbeaten 58 but failed to thwart the defeat.

For Asians, Mohammad Rafique picked up wickets when it mattered most as he picked up de Villiers when the latter was hitting like a golf professional and Kemp as he was running amok. He finished with four for 65.

Africa needed 23 off the last over but Pollock, who remained unbeaten on 58, could manage only one six.

Earlier in the day, both Dhoni and Jayawardene took advantage of the insipid bowling during the middle overs and went on to create a record partnership.

Jayawardene was at his usual deft self: cutting, nudging and pushing into the gaps with immaculate timing while Dhoni was the crusader as he went for the big ones but kept on rotating the strike. The duo brought up their 200 in the 39th over and it was then that Dhoni and Jayawardene turned it on.

They raced to 250 in the 42nd over, feasting on toothless bowling from Johan Botha, Steve Tikolo and even de Villiers.

Jayawardene was the first to reach hundred off 102 balls but Dhoni was much faster, needing just 81 balls to score his third one-day hundred, his first since October 2005.

The duo began to find boundaries with ease during the slog overs. When Botha finally caught Jayawardene at point, Asia XI had already reached 290 for six in the 47th over.


Match No.3, Africa XI vs. Asia XI (day-night), Afro-Asia Cup, M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, June 10

Asia XI:
Virender Sehwag c Kemp b Morkel 8
Sanath Jayasuriya c Botha b Ongondo 13
Upul Tharanga c de Villiers b Ongondo 10
Yuvraj Singh b Chigumbura 31
Mohammed Yousuf c Dippenaar b Ongondo 2
Mahela Jayawardene c Botha b Morkel 107
Mahendra Singh Dhoni not out 139
Mashrafe Mortaza c Morkel b Chigumbura 1
Harbhajan Singh b Morkel 4
Mohammed Rafique not out 0

Extras: (b 4, lb 2, w 8, nb 2) 16
Total: (for eight wickets in 50 overs) 331

Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Sehwag, 2.2 overs), 2-30 (Jayasuriya, 5.5), 3-45 (Tharanga, 9.3), 4-51 (Yousuf, 11.4), 5-72 (Yuvraj Singh, 16.4), 6-290 (Jayawardene, 46.2), 7-309 (Mortaza, 47.5), 8-315 (Harbhajan, 48.3)

Morne Morkel 10-0-50-3 (2nb)
Peter Ongondo 10-2-35-3 (2w)
Elton Chigumbura 10-0-77-2
Justin Kemp 2-0-9-0
Johan Botha 10-1-49-0
Steve Tikolo 4-0-59-0 (1w)
Vusi Sibanda 2-0-24-0
Abraham de Villiers 2-0-22-0 (1w)

Africa XI:
Abraham de Villiers c Mortaza b Rafique 70
Vusi Sibanda st Dhoni b Rafique 45
Boeta Dippenaar c Yuvraj b Rafique 0
Steve Tikolo st Dhoni b Harbhajan 11
Justin Kemp b Rafique 86
Mark Boucher st Dhoni b Harbhajan 7
Shaun Pollock not out 58
Elton Chigumbura b Harbhajan 4
Johan Botha not out 18

Extras: (lb 9, w 9, nb 1) 19
Total: (for seven wickets in 50 overs) 318

Fall of wickets: 1-117 (de Villiers, 18.2 overs), 2-117 (Dippenaar, 18.3), 3-138 (Sibanda, 22.2), 4-149 (Tikolo, 27.6), 5-159 (Boucher, 31.1), 6-281 (Kemp, 45.5), 7-290 (Chigumbura, 47.2)

Mohammed Asif 10-1-62-0 (1nb, 2w)
Mashrafe Mortaza 9-1-51-0 (1w)
Mohammed Rafique 10-0-65-4 (1w)
Sanath Jayasuriya 10-0-73-0
Harbhajan Singh 10-0-48-3 (1w)
Yuvraj Singh 1-0-10-0

Result: Asia XI win by 13 runs, win series 3-0
Man of the match: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Asia XI)
Man of the series: Mahela Jayawardene (Asia XI)
Umpires: Anthony Hill (New Zealand) and Peter Parker (Australia)
TV umpire: Ameish Saheba (India)
Match referee: Chris Broad (England)