SA A v India A, 2nd unofficial Test, Pretoria, 1st day August 24, 2013

Parnell, Harmer lead South Africa A fightback

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Africa A 231 for 6 (Harmer 68*, Parnell 64*) v India A
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Wayne Parnell and Simon Harmer pulled South Africa A out of the depths of 97 for 6 with an unbeaten 134-run partnership in the second and final unofficial Test against India A in Pretoria. The fast bowler and the offspinner came together soon after drinks in the second session with the India A bowlers running through the specialist batsmen, and 47.3 overs later, were still together at stumps.

Parnell drove Siddarth Kaul for successive fours off his third and fourth deliveries in the 35th over, and ended the day by driving the young fast bowler down the ground for four more. Parnell faced 172 balls for his unbeaten 64 which included eight fours. Harmer was more aggressive, taking 115 deliveries for his unbeaten 68 which had nine fours and a six, off Kaul.

"We are in a great position compared to what we were on at lunch," South Africa A batsman Temba Bavuma said. "The way Wayne and Simon have fought back at the end of the innings has been fantastic. They have put us in a good position, it will be important for us to push on tomorrow morning."

South Africa A were in early trouble after choosing to bat under overcast skies, but that was not the only source of their worries. "We thought with the cloud cover the ball would swing a bit more but the wicket was a bit sticky and two-paced," Bavuma said.

Lalchand Rajput, the India A coach, said the pitch was seaming around for the first hour or so after which it became flatter and flatter. "There was some moisture early on," Rajput told ESPNcricinfo. "I feel this wicket might spin later on. I don't think it is too different from the one we played the first (unofficial) Test on."

Rajput praised the efforts of Parnell and Harmer, but pointed out that three close leg-before decisions went against India A, one each off the bowling of Ishwar Pandey, Shahbaz Nadeem and Parvez Rasool. Nevertheless, he was glad with the way his bowlers shaped up in the morning, especially Pandey.

Dean Elgar was the first to depart, pulling Kaul to short midwicket in the fourth over. Pandey, who had claimed seven wickets in India A's innings win in the first unofficial Test, had Reeza Hendricks caught behind on the drive off the very next delivery, and in his next over, had Rilee Rossouw driving early to mid-off.

Bavuma and the captain Justin Ontong tried to repair the innings from 11 for 3, but Ontong fell to Nadeem's left-arm spin after getting to 28. Bavuma found another ally in the wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile and the duo pushed the side towards 100, but Rasool, the offspinning allrounder, struck twice in the 34th over to limit their partnership to 46. Tsolekile was caught by Nadeem off a top-edged pull and three balls later, Bavuma went back to defend and was trapped leg-before for 42.

"We would have wanted to maximise the partnerships but we'll take the position we are in now compared to then," Bavuma said.

Only 81.3 overs were possible in the day after the start was delayed by a wet square. India A made as many as five changes to the team that won the first unofficial Test. Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Jaydev Unadkat and Mohammed Shami were rested in favour of Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Stuart Binny, Rasool and Kaul. South Africa A brought in Beuran Hendricks for JP Duminy.

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  • Rashmi on August 25, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    @ Sripadavenkata Rajendra Krishnaprasad Binny's selection surprising and mysterious... Probabaly you don't follow IPL... This guy is the best among all the youngsters... Son of Legendary Roger Binny, this guy outshone even the foreigners in Rajasthan Royals matches... It really hurt me the most when he was not given a chance before.

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    Top "Think Tank" of Indian cricket seems to be developing a "pool" for every position in the team. For instance, there seems to be five potential candidates to open (Dhawan, Rohit, Vijay, Pujara, & Rahane), in place of Veeru & Gouti. It is not that two will be chosen and the other three will be discarded. All of them are capable of batting at multiple positions)

    Same is the case with potential pacers! At least half a dozen is being tried out to replace guys like Zak or even the self-proclaimed spear-head Ishant. (Bhuvi, Pandey, Mohit, Shami, Unadkat, Kaul, et al)

    For spinners too, they just don't want depend on Ashwin alone. (Ojha is fading and Misra is shining again. Yet, they want to try out guys like Nadeem & Rasool)

    Even for wicket-keeping, they have two stepneys -- Saha & Karthik !

    Duncan's role seem to have been expanded to contribute to this transition process. That's the way to go!

  • Ashok on August 25, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    Duncan Fletcher has always been in the background & more actively when he is the Coach. Presently he is in the capacity of an observer. More importantly it is an opportunity for him to visit his homeland, I think Zimbabwe. Why was similar team rotation not done when we had umpteen "Dead Rubbers' under Dhoni's captaincy? Even Kohli struck with Dhoni's tactics in Zimbabwe. There has never been a wholesale team changes-,as many as 5 - not even one under Dhoni's captaincy even when Fletcher was right there. Rajput & Pujara are the guys who picked such a team. The main reason is Pujara understands the frustration of being benched consistently, along with many others like Rahane, Rahul Sharma, Tiwary, etc. I think all 15 members in the squad deserve to play at least one match on a foreign tour, irrespective who the Captain, Manager or coach is. These guys have been selected because they all have a sound record.

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    @Nampally : Are you sure the newbie Pujara is the decision maker, to decide the playing XI? I doubt! Especially, after Duncan was asked to make an unscheduled trip to South Africa to be with the A-Team? (Though Rajput is the Coach, Duncan is the "super-coach", ha! ha! Rajput, of course, answered the press corps, though).

    You seem to have forgotten that BCCI's special emissary Duncan Fletcher is hovering around silently in the background, away from the public eye! Yours! And, mine! But, Cricinfo ad reported it, though.

    Very high chance that Duncan Fletcher will be consulted by Sandip Patil & Co before they choose the national team for the year end tour! He, most probably, will be collecting inputs for the same.

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    Tale of the Tail, once again: (97 runs from the top 6 batsmen; 244 runs from the 4 tail-enders!)

  • Rashmi on August 25, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    Sad to see Paenell's absence from the regular team...He was the captain of U-19 squad and led them to final where Kohli led side won the tournament... Now Kohli is the Face of Indian team while Parnell is waiting as a back-up for injured players... He had a great going till Sachin and Dhoni hammered him in the match where Sachin made 200* . Parnell was made the scapegoat even though he took 2 wickets against none from Steyn.

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    India-A goes for an African safari (pleasant one so far), and got stung by the scorpion tail, last evening! Nothing unusual about it! Though not desireable. Getting stung by the tail seem to be an "addiction" ( they seem to want a shot of it periodically); for which there does not seem to be any de-toxification programme! At least in India!

    What say? BCCI? NCA Bangalore? Duncan Fletcher? Rajput? Patil? ... Anyone? ... Any answer? ... Any plans for corrective measures?

    Or, just live with that? Assumimg that our batting tail (Read: Dhoni & /or Raina), will compensate for it? Is that the idea?

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Is Wayne Parnell going to be the imitation jewellry, by the time the real jewel Kallis retires? S.A.needs a fairly decent replacement for the great man!

  • dylan on August 25, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    These A matches are just showing how empty the south African cupboard is especially when it comes to the batting. They're gonna find it hard to replace certain players in their test squad in the upcoming years.

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    Binny selection is surprising and mysterious .we had to encourage youngsters

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