Ind-A v SA-A: Markram, Mulder tons put visitor in control

The duo powered South Africa-A to 400, 17 runs short of India-A’s first-innings total. The home side moved to 13 for no loss, before rain forced play to be called off.

Aiden Markram (161, 253b, 20x4, 2x6) and Wiaan Mulder (131 n.o., 230b, 17x4, 1x6) got in the groove ahead of the Test series against India.   -  G.P. SAMPATH KUMAR

Aiden Markram (161, 253b, 20x4, 2x6) and Wiaan Mulder (131 n.o., 230b, 17x4, 1x6) got in the groove ahead of the Test series, with authoritative knocks on the penultimate day of the second ‘Test’ between India-A and South Africa-A here on Thursday.

The duo powered South Africa-A to 400, 17 runs short of India-A’s first-innings total. The home side moved to 13 for no loss, before rain forced play to be called off.

Markram and Mulder, both expected to play central roles for the senior South Africa team in the upcoming Tests against India, toyed with the India-A bowling attack. The duo put on 155 for the sixth wicket, and save for a couple of leg-before shouts, never looked in trouble. The entertaining stand was eventually broken by pacer Mohammed Siraj, when Markram edged one onto the stumps.

Markram, 83 overnight, brought up his 11th First Class century with a textbook cover drive boundary off Siraj. Mulder, touted as the heir to Jacques Kallis' all-rounder throne, was a picture of elegance. Much like Markram, he neatly moved his front foot to the pitch of the ball and presented a straight bat.

As the Markram-Mulder partnership grew, the India-A bowlers and fielders began to lose focus. Siraj and Umesh Yadav often strayed in line, drifting onto the pads to offer easy runs. The short balls carried no bite, resulting in ferocious pulls.

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav - named in the senior India Test squad - picked up four wickets, but was largely unimpressive.   -  G.P. SAMPATH KUMAR

 

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav - named in the senior India Test squad - picked up four wickets, but was largely unimpressive. He frequently overpitched outside off, allowing the batsmen to free their arms. Kuldeep was left shaken in the afternoon session, when Markram and Mulder smashed him for one straight six each in the same over.

Later on, tailender Dane Piedt hoicked Kuldeep for a six over mid-wicket, but this time, Kuldeep came back strongly to dislodge Piedt’s stumps off the next delivery. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem kept it tight, and finished with figures of three for 76 in 31.3 overs.