Pandey stymies South Africa A
South Africa A 312 for 9 (Duminy 84, Pandey 4-40) trail India A 582 for 9 dec by 270 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Timely wickets were the order of the day in Rustenburg, as every time South Africa A assumed a position of strength, India A's bowlers, particularly medium-pacer Ishwar Pandey, delivered a blow to regain the advantage. Pandey picked up four wickets, and broke all three of South Africa's half-century partnerships, to leave them at 312 for 9, and 70 runs short of the follow-on target at stumps.
South Africa would have had high hopes for Dean Elgar's prolific run - 361 runs in his last two first-class matches - to continue, but Mohammed Shami trapped him in front of his stumps in the third over of the morning. A counterattacking Rilee Rossouw and a solid Simon Harmer recovered lost momentum for South Africa, going from 22 or 2 to 94 for 2.
Rossouw, with 44 off 46 balls, had just doubled Harmer's score when Pandey got his first wicket, having the latter caught behind. Suresh Raina replaced Pandey in the 33rd over and found immediate success, getting rid of Rossouw for 57, with eight fours and two sixes. Temba Bavuma followed two overs later as South Africa went to lunch at 119 for 5.
The hosts found stability again as JP Duminy, eyeing a comeback into the Test side, displayed great patience, collecting his first four off his 114th ball. He put on 75 runs with Justin Ontong for the sixth wicket, who was drawing comfort from his time at the crease, striking Raina for three fours in the 52nd over. But Pandey, only an over into his second spell, had Ontong edging behind to Wriddhiman Saha for 47.
Duminy, though, reached his fifty, and the team's 250, in the 81st over in the company of wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile. The duo recorded 84 runs but yet again, Pandey, recalled into the attack in the 91st over, dismissed Tsolekile and Wayne Parnell in successive deliveries, as South Africa A slumped to 280 for 8. They sustained another telling blow when Raina had Duminy caught behind for 84 off 222 balls to give Saha his fourth catch of the innings and signal the end of the day's play.
Rossouw regretted the batsmen's failure to build on their starts. "If you look at the way India batted, most of their batsmen went on to score big which helped them to their total," he said. "We would have wanted to get close but we haven't managed to do that.
"It [the pitch] was a bit difficult to play on, to be honest i didn't really know what to expect," he added. "As a team we said we wanted to look to play as straight as possible and if it was short and wide we would attack."
India A coach Lalchand Rajput enjoyed feelings from the opposite end of the spectrum. "It's pleasing that we got them to nine wickets down today. It would be even better if they were all out today but Duminy played an excellent innings," he said. "Pandey made his debut for India A in this match and has bowled exceptionally well. Unadkat and Shami gave him good support. When you come to South Africa you always expect bouncy wickets. It was helpful on the first two days but we expected it to play this way on the third day."