<
>

Draw looms as South Africa A lose wickets in wet weather

South Africa A 294 for 7 (Hamza 93, Erwee 58, Second 47, Rajpoot 2-42, Siraj 2-58) trail India A 345 by 51 runs

Less than 33 overs were bowled on the third day of the second unofficial Test in Alur, as persistent rain forced only one session of play between India A and South Africa A. The visitors added 75 runs for the loss of four wickets on the day, but still remained 51 behind India's first-innings total. With three only three sessions left to play, it's likely that the game will be drawn.

A light drizzle welcomed both teams in the morning, and that forced the 9.30am start to be delayed by almost three hours. At 12.10pm, after lunch was officially taken, overnight batsmen Rassie van der Dussen and Rudi Second began the day's play but their partnership was quickly halted by fast bowler Ankit Rajpoot.

In his third over of the morning, Rajpoot forced a false cut-shot, off a wide ball outside the stumps, to send van der Dussen back, edging to the wicketkeeper for 22. Four overs later, Second clipped a shot straight to Prithvi Shaw at midwicket - off Rajpoot again - to follow his partner back on 47.

India's sharp work in the field continued when Mohammed Siraj dived forward at cover, off Jayant Yadav's offspin, to send Dwaine Pretorius back for a 23-ball 10, but a forty-run partnership for the seventh-wicket helped South Africa briefly recover.

Dane Piedt - the stand-in captain in place of Khaya Zondo - walked in when the sixth wicket fell to join Senuran Muthusamy, and handed India an opportunity off his very first ball. But Mayank Agarwal dropped the tough chance at cover to hand Piedt a brief reprieve. Piedt then took on the spinners, crunching a six over deep midwicket and three more leg-side boundaries off Jayant and Yuzvendra Chahal, but his leg-stump was soon sent cartwheeling by a Siraj snorter in the 93rd over. With less than two minutes for tea, the umpires called for a break right away with South Africa 294 for 7.

For the 100-strong crowd that braved the weather to make it to the KSCA Cricket Ground, that was all the cricket available to them. The teams walked out at 3pm for the day's final session to begin, but the clouds opened up once more, sending both teams scurrying back into the pavilion. The crowd stuck around, but so did the rain, and at 4.40pm, the umpires finally called for early stumps for the second day in a row.