The unofficial Test between India A and South Africa A looks evenly poised. After South Africa posted a huge total of 509-7(d), the Indian openers gave their team a decent start. The Mangaung Oval at Bloemfontein witnessed a brilliant batting display from the hosts in the first two days.
When Indian A skipper Priyank Panchal invited the Proteas to bat first, the Pieter Malan led side grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Malan played a memorable captain’s knock of 163 runs consisting of 19 boundaries. Tony De Zorzi followed his skipper and scored a stellar ton scoring 117 runs off 186 deliveries.
A Solid batting performance from South Africa A
The Indian A bowlers were off to a flying start as birthday boy Navdeep Saini struck in his third delivery. He dismissed opener Sarel Erwee refusing him to even open his account.
The South African innings looked in trouble when they lost van Tonder for a duck to left-arm pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla. What followed was a gritty partnership between the two centurions, who kept the bowlers at bay for the rest of the day.
India A bowlers managed to take early breakthroughs at the start of Day 2 but then faced the heat from the South African lower middle order. J Smith (52), Qeshile(72*), George Linde(51) helped Proteas to declare at a gigantic total of 509 for the fall of 7 wickets.
India A top order in command
India A was clearly on the backfoot but openers Prithvi Shaw and Priyank Panchal backed their abilities on this batting-friendly pitch. Shaw felt short of a half-century by just 2 runs, as he cruised to 48 off just 45 balls with 9 fours and a staggering strike rate of 106.67.
Right arm seamer Sipamla broke the 80 runs stand between Shaw and Panchal dismissing Shaw. At the end of play on Day 2, India were in a comfortable position with skipper Panchal(45) building a steady partnership with Abhimanyu Easwaran(27). India A trail by 384 runs and thus will hope for a dominating batting effort on Day 3 to put pressure on the Proteas.
Brief Scores at the end of Day2:
South Africa A: 509 for 7 declared in 135.3 overs (Pieter Malan 163, Tony de Zorzi 117; Navdeep Saine 2/67, Arzan Nagwaswalla 2/75).
India A: 125 for 1 in 33 overs (Prithvi Shaw 48, Priyank Panchal 45 batting).
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