South Africa A's Rudi Second held firm while his teammates crumbled against India-A on the opening day of their unofficial Test in Bengaluru on Saturday.
The visitor will be disappointed to finish on 246 for 8 on a flat pitch at the M Chinnaswamy stadium. Seven batsmen fell to edges taken behind the stumps.
India-A fast bowler Mohammed Siraj (3/56) impressed with good pace and control, and emerged as India's best bowler on the day. He had sufficient support from Navdeep Saini (2/47) and Rajneesh Gurbani (2/47). The trio benefited from the batsmen’s tendency to needlessly poke around outside the off-stump. Wicketkeeper K.S. Bharat was a busy man, grabbing four catches.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal picked up only the one wicket, when he got Shaun von Berg to cut one to the hands of Hanuma Vihari at slip.
Only Rudi Second held his ground, playing close to his body and leaving deliveries outside off. He was poised to reach his 18th first-class hundred, before he met with a familiar end. An uppish drive to a Siraj outswinger grazed the willow and landed in Bharat’s gloves. Second’s vigil, which lasted over three hours, came to a meek end.
Siraj continues good run
Siraj continued the good form he showed in India A's recent tour of England. The Hyderabad speedster has taken 18 wickets in his last five innings, and looks set for plenty more in the series.
“Ashish Nehra and Bharat Arun [India's bowling coach] advised me to keep the ball consistently in the right areas, and this has helped me,” Siraj said.
A month ago, Siraj took the prized wicket of Alastair Cook in a match between India-A and England Lions at Worcester. It came as a huge boost to his confidence. “Getting Cook out bowled was fantastic. He is
a world-class player and I was delighted,” Siraj, who has played three Twenty20 internationals, said.
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