Ramela ton puts SA A in driver's seat
South Africa A 293 for 4 (Ramela 112, Bavuma 55*, Axar 2-52) v India A
Omphile Ramela's 112, his fifth hundred in first-class cricket, put South Africa A on top at stumps on the first day of the unofficial Test against India A in Wayanad.
The visitors' decision to bat at the toss proved fruitful as the top-order strung together meaningful partnerships, capped off by Ramela and Temba Bavuma adding 136 runs for the fourth wicket. It was broken with four balls left to stumps, but by then South Africa A had been placed in a fine position.
Neither man has played first-class cricket before in India. But they have had experience of the conditions, having visited the country for the Champions League T20. Ramela , batting at No. 4, had a sound foundation to make use of. He came in with the score on 100 for 2. His innings included 12 fours and three sixes, went on for 197 balls and came to an end only in the final over of the day, caught behind off Axar Patel.
Bavuma, who had been with the senior squad in Bangladesh and already has a maiden Test fifty to his name, was equally steady with 55 of 117 balls, including seven fours.
India A did not have too many successes through the day. They had to wait till the 20th over to pry South Africa A's openers Stiaan van Zyl and Reeza Hendricks apart. Offspinner Jayant Yadav had van Zyl caught behind for 28 but then Hendricks and Theuis be Bryuyn added a quick 40 runs to take South Africa A to 100.
Hendricks reached his fifty, which included seven fours and two sixes, before falling to Ishwar Pandey. There was a brief interruption for rain as well, but soon after Ramela and Bavuma took control. For India A, Axar was their most successful bowler on the day with 2 for 52 in 24 overs.