SA A v India A, 2nd unofficial Test, Pretoria, 2nd day August 25, 2013

Bowlers put South Africa A in control

ESPNcricinfo staff

India A 145 for 6 (Pujara 54, Hendricks 3-28) trail South Africa A 341 (Harmer 96, Parnell 91) by 196 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Fast bowler Beuran Hendricks triggered a middle-order collapse as India A slumped from 95 for 1 to 145 for 6 towards the end of the second day to put South Africa A firmly in control of the second and final unofficial Test in Pretoria. Cheteshwar Pujara's half-century had helped India recover from the early loss of M Vijay, but Hendricks struck twice in quick succession to remove Pujara and Dinesh Karthik and Simon Harmer followed up his batting heroics with two middle-order wickets to leave the Indian innings in tatters.

After conceding 341 runs in the first innings, 245 of them to the last four wickets, India found themselves in further misery when Hendricks removed Vijay in the second over of the innings. Pujara, with support from Ajinkya Rahane, revived the innings with an 86-run partnership for the second wicket, bringing up his half-century along the way. But Hendricks dismissal of Pujara in the third over of his second spell marked a sudden shift in momentum.

Much like South Africa's riposte late on the first day when their lower order pulled the game out of India's grasp, this time, it was the bowling. India lost their fifth and the sixth wickets in the last five overs of the day, leaving them 196 runs behind South Africa.

"This pitch is deteriorating at a faster pace than in previous games here," Harmer said. "I think 340 is a good first innings total on this pitch. Totals are going to become lower as the match progresses and you won't want to be batting last. We have got ourselves into a good position but there is still a lot of work to be done," he added. "We have ticked the right boxes today so it will be important to do the same on day three."

The match panned out just as South Africa would have wanted it to. Harmer and Wayne Parnell stretched their monumental seventh-wicket stand close to the double-century mark, but Shahbaz Nadeem finally earned India a wicket after 65 overs of toil when he had Harmer trapped in front for 96. Parnell fell short of his century too; he was the ninth wicket to fell when he was out for 91. But India's struggle with the tail continued as Andrew Birch and Hendricks added 50 for the last wicket. Birch, unbeaten on 44, hit eight boundaries in his innings.

"It was good to get some runs," Harmer said. "My batting hasn't been up to scratch in the last two seasons and I have been working hard on it; it's good to reap some rewards from the hard work.

"At the start Wayne and I looked to occupy the crease for as long as possible. We knew that they were going to get impatient because they were looking to get into the tail to wrap up the innings, so we knew that the longer we stayed there the more we could capitalise on their mistakes."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ashok on August 26, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    @armchairjohnny: The comments from fans shows their keen interest even in India A, not any hype. There are a couple of positions to be filled in the batting line up + at least one seam bowler. This has obviously generated lot of interest. In addition some benched players need to be checked out for being contenders or not. The opening batting spot is likely to show Rohit Sharma partnering Dhawan, as Vijay has been consistently inconsistent. In the fast bowlers spot, Pandey has shown himself to be the guy with potential to replace Ishant Sharma. B.Kumar & Mohit Sharma are other 2 accurate seamers. Yadev will fill in the Lead. It remains to be seen whether the Selectors think the same way. Rahane is another guy who is yet to show his true potential. He along with Karthik & Saha (WK) have to fight it out for 2 spots. They have a chance on Day 4 to earn it! Raina will likely make it as well. Nadeem put up a consistent show as a LH spinner. So the "Fan hype" (as you say) is logical.

  • Nish on August 26, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    Even before this match, believed Vijay will be found wanting against pace in overseas conditions & this current 'A' series has proved it. Let us hope Gautam finds some form on the county circuit as we don't really have many options in partnering Dhawan & we do seriously need some experience in the team against SA. Maybe Rahane may show his talent in being another option in this opening slot by doing really well tomorrow.

  • Sriram on August 26, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    Vijay has let himself down and now his bashers have got another oppurtunity to curse his selection. He is expected to open with Dhawan. Period. But he hasn't done himself any good on these conditions. No matter what he does in Ranji or CLT20, his bashers will have good time bashing him!! sob sob!! The only hope for him is that there are no immediate challengers to his position at least given by Gautam's county form or Viru's lack of cricket. Even though there will be lot of noise to include Unmukt, Raul, Rahane, Jiwanjot, Uttapa or even an outsider Mukund (who didnt do that bad) none are expected to partner Dhawan. ACtually will Dhawan cope up with the pressure of facing Dale & co. OH dear so we will get to see Pujara, SRT, Virat in the first hour of Indian innings!!!!

  • S on August 26, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Should have played Zhol instead of Rayudu. Zhol is the future. Rayudu is the past. This should be Rahane's last chance. Bury him after this.

  • ESPN on August 26, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    The team is nothing with shikhar dhawan rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina if these players would be playing they would have crushed them. Murali vijay is a big disappointed shikhar dhawan the man who is such in great form is being rested that doesn't make sense

  • Dummy4 on August 26, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    61st over of SA'a 2nd innings. The biggest "Harmer" of India-A is back again! What is he up to now? What further harm is he going to do? India-A bowlers; what are your plans now? Keenly watching.

  • Sriram on August 26, 2013, 14:53 GMT

    Vijay not making runs, Rahane not making runs, Gauti not making runs..Oh god who will partner Dhawan who also did not make runs in the first India A game!! Pujara must be ready to come within first 3-4 overs every signle innings no matter who opens come Dec.

  • Rav on August 26, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    There has been a lot of unnecessary hype over this A-Team series. It seems impossible for Indian fans who are following this series to not extrapolate into the future about how the Indians might fare when they next tour SA. With that being said, I believe this game is a more honest reflection of what is likely to happen in that series.

    Now, there's only one question Indian fans should be asking themselves and that's how Ishant Sharma still manages to retain his place in the national side. I would much rather they dropped him, let open a revolving doort and tested other bowlers out. Sharma's 'bowling' if you can even call it that, is an insult to international cricket. His bowling average reflects his ability and it's high time the BCCI took drastic measure to change the culture of fast bowling in Indian cricket. Otherwise 0-4 overseas hammering will continue apace.

  • Krishna on August 26, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    I agree with sandip manjrakar in the case of vijay&KD.especially about KD.he is the strong contender after dhoni but he failed get the runs.and also bcci give chance to the uday kaul.

  • Naresh on August 26, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    The game is still in progress. Then gains from this tour would be Pandey - Dhawan , Rohit, Pujara, Raina have gained valuable time in the middle. A bit disappointing for the others who were given chances but blew them - Vijay,Rahane, Karthik, and Rayudu. bowlers like Rasool, Kaul, Binny and Nadeem failed.

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