South Africa A on top after de Lange takes four
South Africa A 1 for 26 trail Australia A 239 (Nevill 53*, de Lange 4-53) by 213 runs
A four-wicket haul from Marchant de Lange ensured South Africa A finished on top on the first day of their four-day match against Australia A in Townsville. The Australian batsmen struggled to build any momentum after captain Moises Henriques won the toss and chose to bat, with wicketkeeper Peter Nevill the only man to register a half-century as they were bowled out for 239.
Phillip Hughes was unable to replicate his outstanding form from the recent quadrangular one-day series in Darwin and was caught at slip off Hardus Viljoen for 23, leaving Australia A at 2 for 29 after his opening partner Marcus Stoinis also fell cheaply. Tom Cooper and Callum Ferguson built a solid 80-run stand before both were caught behind off de Lange, Cooper for 36 and Ferguson for 47.
Included as a specialist batsman, Matthew Wade showed signs that he might guide the home team to a respectable total but on 32 he dragged a short ball back on to his stumps to provide Viljoen his second wicket. Allrounder Michael Neser, playing against the country of his birth, provided support for Nevill before he was caught off Simon Harmer for 31.
The end came over the next 11 overs as de Lange picked up two more wickets to finish with 4 for 53 and Nevill ended up unbeaten on 53. In reply, South Africa A reached stumps at 1 for 26 with Reeza Hendricks on 9 and Viljoen yet to score, having just lost David White, caught behind off the bowling of Neser for 17.