Rossouw 231 puts SA A in command
Australia A 239 and 2 for 113 (Cooper 42*, Ferguson 27*) trail South Africa A 8 for 532 dec (Rossouw 231, Bavuma 162, Sandhu 4-77) by 180 runs
A double century from Rilee Rossouw and an unbeaten fifty from Farhaan Behardien helped South Africa amass a 293-run lead over Australia A on the third day of the four-day game in Townsville. By the close of play, Australia A had managed to wipe 113 runs off the deficit, losing both openers along the way.
Centuries from Rossouw and Temba Bavuma had flattened Australia A on the second day and the pair extended their 283-run partnership to 343 on the third morning before Bavuma was dismissed by Gurinder Sandhu for 162. Rossouw, who began the day unbeaten on 162, steadily marched towards his double hundred and got to the landmark in the 23rd over of the day.
The batsman, who was recently picked for the ODIs against Zimbabwe, also shared a 70-run, sixth-wicket partnership with Behardien that pushed South Africa A closer to 500. Rossouw and wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle fell within three overs but Behardien stabilised the innings with a brisk 53-run stand alongside Simon Harmer. Harmer contributed just eight runs to the eighth-wicket partnership, which came in 11.2 overs, and his dismissal with the score at 8 for 532 prompted a declaration from the visitors. Behardien remained unbeaten on 70, while Sandhu was the best bowler for Australia A with returns of 4 for 77.
In reply, Australia A lost openers Marcus Stoinis and Phillip Hughes quickly to Harmer before Tom Cooper and Callum Ferguson saw the side through to stumps with an unbeaten 62-run partnership.