Crookes and Bhayat revive South Africa A
New Zealand A 289 for 6 dec (How 61, Canning 60) and 68 for 4 (Bhayat 4-37) lead Lions 175 for 7 dec (Crookes 101*) by 182 runs
The Highveld Lions staged a stunning recovery through Derek Crookes and Goolam Bhayat after New Zealand A had taken the upper hand in their three-day match at the Isak Steyl Stadium, Vanderbijlpark. New Zealand A had notched up 289 for 6 declared and 68 for 4 in response to the Lions' 175 for 7 declared.
The Lions' innings began in disaster as Stephen Cook was bowled before a run was on the board. Adam Bacher, Neil McKenzie, Justin Ontong, Matthew Harris and Hylton Ackerman all failed, one after the other, in spectacular fashion. THe Lions were staggering at 29 for 6. Richard Sherlock (3 for 20) was the pick of the bowlers.
But, just when New Zealand A had established a stranglehold on the game, Crookes set to work. Coming in to bat at No. 8. Crookes cracked an amazing 101 not out off 148 balls (19 fours) and took South Africa A to 175 for 7, where they declared. Werner Coetsee (26 from 71 balls) kept Crookes good company.
New Zealand A's second dig did not go too well as Bhayat, the mediumpacer, picked up the top four for just 37 runs off 9.4 overs. On 68 for 4 New Zealand A are now 182 ahead with one day left to play.