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August 8, 2012
Ireland XI 56 for 2 trail South Africa A 317 for 8 (Kuhn 103*, Kleinveldt 74) by 261 runs
Although AB de Villiers is keeping wicket in the Test series against England following the injury-forced retirement of Mark Boucher, it may not be a long-term solution for South Africa.
Therefore it is a chance for the next group of wicketkeepers to show their presence. Thami Tsolekile is with the Test squad, but Heino Kuhn staked his claim with a century for South Africa A, rescuing them against Ireland.
South Africa A were 101 for 5 when Kuhn came to the crease and that soon became 135 for 7 as Stuart Thompson claimed three wickets. Kuhn, who has played five Twenty20 internationals, resurrected the innings in a stand of 131 alongside Rory Kleinveldt who made 74.
Kuhn struck 11 fours and a six in his hundred, the 13th of his first-class career, to suggest that his name should be at the forefront of the selectors' minds. At 28, Kuhn should be coming into his prime as a wicketkeeper-batsman and if there remain lingering concerns about Tsolekile's batting, he could be a viable alternative.
It was not such a good day for Kuhn's top-order team-mates when the match finally began following two washed out days. There was little surprise when Ireland put South Africa A in to bat and the seamers soon made inroads. Thompson and Max Sorenson reduced them to 34 for 3 inside the first hour, before Justin Ontong provided some stability.
Kevin O'Brien, the Ireland captain for this match, chipped in to remove Farhaan Behardien and Sorenson claimed Ontong for his third scalp. At that point Ireland will have sensed a chance to dismiss South Africa A for under 200, but Kuhn halted the home side's momentum.
Kuhn's hundred brought a declaration and the South Africa A bowlers nipped out two wickets before the close. Quinton Friend struck in his third over to bowl Andrew Balbirnie and Wayne Parnell, the left-arm seamer, claimed John Anderson but was expensive in his four overs.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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