Axar five-for restricts SA A to 260
South Africa A 260 (Van Zyl 96, Axar 5-92, Jayant 3-53) v India A
India A's spinners - Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav and Karn Sharma - engineered South Africa A's lower-order collapse as the visitors lost their last seven wickets for 56 runs to finish with 260 on the first day.
While Axar picked up his third five-wicket haul in first-class matches, it was offspinner Jayant's double-strike that first threw South Africa off gear. Jayant bowled Stiaan van Zyl for 96 in the 72nd over, when South Africa were cruising on 204 for 3, and two overs later, had Quinton de Kock stumped for a duck. Axar then sliced through the lower order, picking up four of the remaining five wickets that fell in a little over eight overs. Jayant and Karn finished with three and two wickets respectively.
South Africa would not have anticipated such an end to the day, given the steady start provided by their openers, Reeza Hendricks and van Zyl, after they elected to bat. The opening stand of 58 was broken when Hendricks was dismissed by Axar in the 22nd over, B Aparajith taking the first of his three catches.
Van Zyl's, however, was an assured presence, as he stitched together partnerships of 49 and 78 with Gihahn Cloete and Omphile Ramela for the second and third wickets respectively. But, once van Zyl's 193-ball effort, comprising 13 fours and a six, came to an end, India's spinners were all over the visitors.
In the morning, the game was interrupted for a few minutes after Jiwanjot Singh spotted a snake in the field. The New Indian Express reported that one of the umpires had to jump when the common krait, a venomous snake, made an alarming movement. However, the snake was soon whisked away by the ground staff.