South Africa A’s bowlers grabbed the initiative on the second day of the second unofficial four-day Test against India A at the Tuks Cricket Oval in Pretoria on Sunday. At stumps India A were on 145 for six, still trailing SA A’s first innings score of 341 by 196 runs.
Left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks (3/28) dismissed India A’s top three batsmen with an impressive spell of bowling to start the batting decline, which was then exploited by wickets late in the day from Simon Harmer (2/43) and Kyle Abbott (1/42).
India A captain, Cheteshwar Pujara, made top score for his side of 54 with Rajinkya Rahane, who scored 36, providing some support.
Earlier, Harmer and Wayne Parnell had started the day positively, adding 52 runs to their overnight contribution for the seventh wicket. Shahbaz Nadeem eventually broke the 186-run partnership when he trapped Harmer lbw four runs short of what would have been a deserved century. Parnell also missed out on three figures, being caught behind for a patient 91 off 318 balls off the bowling of Ishwar Pandey.
The last-wicket pair of Andrew Birch and Beuran Hendricks added a valuable 50-run partnership, with Birch blasting 44 runs off 58 balls to beef up the total.
Pandey (3/67) and Nadeem (3/99) were the top wicket-takers, with Siddarth Kaul (2/71) and Parvez Rasool (2/55) also amongst the wickets.
Harmer’s innings included 13 fours and one six, and was a testing but satisfying performance for the 24 year-old Chevrolet Warriors player.
“It was good to get some runs,” Harmer said. “My batting hasn’t been up to scratch in the last two seasons and I have been working hard on it; it’s good to reap some rewards from the hard work.
“At the start Wayne and I looked to occupy the crease for as long as possible. We knew that they were going to get impatient because they were looking to get into the tail to wrap up the innings, so we knew that the longer we stayed there the more we could capitalise on their mistakes.”
Monday is going to be an important day, as the hosts look to take full control of the match.
“This pitch is deteriorating at a faster pace than in previous games here,” Harmer remarked. “I think 340 is a good first innings total on this pitch. Totals are going to become lower as the match progresses and you won’t want to be batting last.
“We have got ourselves into a good position but there is still a lot of work to be done,” he added. “We have ticked the right boxes today so it will be important to do the same on day three.”
Note: Wayne Parnell injury update
Wayne Parnell complained of shortness of breath after bowling two overs in India A’s innings. He was taken to the hospital for further examination and was unable to take part in the rest of the day’s play.
An audio clip featuring Simon Harmer has been made available under the folder “SA A v INDIA A”
Please note, the FTP site MUST be accessed using the browser Windows Internet Explorer
The FTP Address is: ftp://188.8.131.52
The Username: csaftp