South Africa A (SA A) need nine wickets and India A 304 runs going into the final day on Tuesday to win the second unofficial Test match at the Tuks Cricket Oval in Pretoria.
SA A made an important breakthrough two overs before stumps with the wicket of Murali Vijay for a duck, leaving India on 3/1 at the close, and have set up an interesting match with 90 overs available tomorrow.
SA A captain, Justin Ontong, made a positive declaration on 165 for five in the second innings to give his team a good chance of playing for the win. This came after India A were dismissed for 201 in the first session, 140 runs shy of SA A’s first innings score. Dean Elgar top-scored with 62 in SA A’s second innings, with Ontong making a quick fire 35 off 32 balls before declaring.
The chief destroyer of the India A innings was Beuran Hendricks, who picked up his eighth first-class five-for for 36 runs. Simon Harmer made good use of the deteriorating conditions to finish with four for 74, playing a valuable supporting role at the other end.
Parvez Rasool was the last man standing for India A with an unbeaten 32, after an indifferent performance from the rest of the batsmen.
This is Hendricks’ second five-for of the SA A tour following his five for 52 against Australia A in Rustenburg. The 23-year-old hopes some of the movement from the wicket will assist the bowlers on an important last day. He says the bowlers will need to create pressure and bowl good areas if they are to have a chance of winning the match.
“We are slightly ahead of them so we are quite confident of finishing the job tomorrow. We have to take the momentum we created today and push it on tomorrow,” Hendricks remarked. “Simon (Harmer) is going to come into the game perfectly and, with a deteriorating day four pitch, it is going to be an interesting day.”
SA A are without Wayne Parnell who is still in hospital for observation and tests after complaining of shortness of breath on Sunday.