India A pulls off dramatic win against South Africa A

India A won by an innings and 30 runs against South Africa A, despite the South Africans holding on till seven balls to close of play on the final day of the Test match.

Mohammed Siraj got the final wicket, which sparked off big celebrations from the home team.   -  Sampath Kumar G P

South Africa A fought hard but stumbled on the last hurdle against India A in the first unofficial Test, at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

South Africa A's last man Duanne Olivier was dismissed with just seven balls to go for close of play. From being ever so close to forcing a draw, South Africa A was relegated to an innings and 30 runs defeat. Mohammed Siraj got Olivier to nick one to the wicketkeeeper K.S. Bharat, which sparked off big celebrations from the home team. The impressive Siraj recorded match-figures of 10/129.

Starting the day on a precarious 99/4, South Africa A required a quality batting performance to stop India A’s march. Rudi Second (94) and Shaun Von Berg (50) were up to the task, blunting the Indian attack with a dead bat and the occasional boundary.

Their 119-run sixth-wicket partnership frustrated the opposition no end. At one stage, the India-A players, led by Siraj, targetted Von Berg with some intimidating verbal banter. Von Berg remained unaffected by the chatter, and went about his business calmly with a poker face. The duo stood firm for 50.4 overs, before Vidarbha pacer Rajneesh Gurbani induced an edge from Von Berg.

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal then claimed the crucial wicket of Second, who misread a flipper and was trapped on the pads. For the second time in this match, Second was sent back for 94. He missed scoring a century once again, and left his team with 19 overs to negotiate.

Tailenders Malusi Siboto (7*), Beuran Hendricks (10) and Olivier (0) were unwilling to give up their wickets easily, but India-A managed to sneak through in the final stretch.

The score:

1st innings

South Africa-A: 246, India-A: 584/8 declared

SA-A (2nd-innings):
Sarel Erwee c Bharat b Siraj 3, D. Malan c Bharat b Siraj 0, Zubayr Hamza c Vihari b Gurbani 63, Khaya Zondo lbw Siraj 0, Senuran Muthusamy c Vihari b Siraj 41, Rudi Second lbw Chahal 94, Shaun Von Berg c Samarth b Gurbani 50, Dane Piedt c Bharat b Saini 8, Malusi Siboto (not out) 7, Beuran Hendricks c Bharat b Axar 10, D. Olivier c Bharat b Siraj 0
Extras (b-17, lb-8, nb-5, w-2): 32;
Total (in 128.5 overs): 308.

Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-6, 3-6, 4-92, 5-121, 6-240, 7-277, 8-286, 9-304, 10-308.

India-A bowling:
Siraj 27.5-9-73-5, Saini 21-11-24-1, Gurbani 15-4-45-2, Axar 30-13-43-1, Chahal 31-8-85-1, Vihari 3-0-3-0, Iyer 1-0-10-0.