India A bowlers ripped through the South Africa A top order before the home side consolidated to finish the day at a respectable 231 for six in the second unofficial Test here on Saturday.
Impressive spells by off-spinner Parvez Rasool and medium-pacer Ishwar Pandey saw the South Africans reduced to 128 for six at tea before lower order batsmen Wayne Parnell and Simon Harmer rescued the home side with a 134-run stand for the unbroken seventh wicket partnership.
Parnell and Harmer were on 64 not out and 68 not out respectively. Parnell hit eight fours in his 172-ball innings,while Harmer hit nine fours and a six in his 115-ball outing.
We are in a great position compared to what we were on at lunch, batsman Temba Bavuma was quoted as saying on Cricket South Africas website (www.cricket.co.za).
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 follow through.
The Indians seemed to have taken their feet off the pedal in the last session which yielded 103 runs without any wicket as the South Africans posted a decent score on a day which saw 81.3 overs being bowled after the start of the match was delayed due to a wet square at LC de Villiers Oval.
Parnell and Harmer took a long time to settle down and they grafted for runs as the situation demanded before they got a measure of the pitch. As the conditions became easier to bat the Indian bowlers struggled to get breakthroughs like they had in the first two sessions.
Earlier,South Africa As decision to bat backfired as Indian pacers used the conditions well and bowled a stifling line and length to tie down the opposition batsmen.
Off-spinner Rasool and medium-pacer Pandey bowled impressive spells to grab two wickets each. The home side were 51 for four when lunch was taken after 19.4 overs and Rasool then grabbed two wickets in the space of four balls in the 34th over to reduce South Africa A to 97 for six midway in the second session. He first removed wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile (13) with a short-pitched delivery and then dismissed Temba Bavuma (42) LBW in the last ball of the over.
South Africa A got off to a disastrous start as openers Dean Elgar (0) and Reeza Hendricks (2) were dismissed off successive deliveries. Elgar was removed by Siddharth Kaul off the last ball of the fourth over when the left hander mis-timed a short delivery and was safely caught by Shahbaz Nadeem at short mid wicket.
Hendricks too played a loose shot and fell prey to Pandey in the first ball of the very next over,to peg back South Africa A at 2/2 in the fifth over.
Brief scores: South Africa A 231 for six in 81.3 ovs (T Bavuma 42,W Parnell 64*,SR Harmer 68*; I Pandey 2/49,P Rasool 2/39)