Siraj skittles out South Africa A's top order

India 'A' tightened its grip on South Africa 'A' on the penultimate day of the first unofficial Test, at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday.

Mohammed Siraj exults after dismissing Khaya Zondo at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Monday.   -  Sampath Kumar G. P.

India 'A' tightened its grip on South Africa 'A' on the penultimate day of the first unofficial Test, at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday.

Resuming on 411 for two, India-A motored along to 584 for eight declared, to gain a huge first-innings lead of 338 runs. At close of play, South Africa-A stumbled to 99 for four, facing an overall deficit of 239 runs. Fast bowler Mohammed Siraj scalped four wickets, to go with his five-for in the first essay.

Much was expected from India-A opener Mayank Agarwal, who started the day on 220. The crowd was left disappointed when the local lad fell in the first ball he faced this day. An incoming delivery from pacer Beuran Hendricks trapped Mayank on the pads, who left without adding to his tally.

Wicketkeeper K.S. Bharat and Hanuma Vihari then added 95 runs for the fifth wicket. Bharat took an attacking approach in his 77-ball 64. He set the tone early in his innings, when he pulled Hendricks for two big sixes.

Vihari (54, 108b) negotiated the attack comfortably, and in the company of Axar Patel (33 not out), took India-A to an unassailable lead.

Siraj troubled the visiting batsmen once again, sending back Sarel Erwee, D. Malan and Khaya Zondo in quick time. The fast, full and seaming deliveries were simply too much for the trio to handle. Zubayr Hamza and Senuran Muthusamy (41, 97b) battled hard to put on 86 runs, until Muthusamy edged a Siraj outswinger to Vihari at third slip.

Muthusamy, a South African of Tamil origin, spoke about his connection with India. “There are many Indian-origin folk in Durban. I'm seventh or eighth generation immigrant, so there's a long, long line before me. I have some extended family in Chennai, but I'm very South African in all ways,” Muthusamy said.

Due to a rain interruption, play was extended until nearly 6 p.m., which was far from ideal for the batsmen. “Yeah, batting was tough. As far as we knew, the cut off was 5.27 p.m., but we only came off the field at 5.50 p.m.. It’s something you have to deal with and move on,” Muthusamy said.

The score

South Africa A: 1st innings: 246.

India A: first innings: Prithvi Shaw b Piedt 136, Mayank Agarwal lbw Hendricks 220, R. Samarth c Second b Olivier 37, Shreyas Iyer c Second b Hendricks 24, Hanuma Vihari (run out) 54, K.S. Bharat c Muthusamy b Piedt 64, Axar Patel (not out) 33, Yuzvendra Chahal c Second b Olivier 0, Mohammed Siraj c Second b Hendricks 0, Extras (b-6, lb-5, w-1, nb-4): 16; Total (for eight wickets decl. in 129.4 overs) 584.

Fall of wickets: 1-277, 2-395, 3-412, 4-440, 5-535, 6-578, 7-581, 8-584.

South Africa A bowling: Hendricks 22.4-1-98-3, Olivier 26-3-88-2, Siboto 18-1-95-0, Von Berg 20-1-107-0, Piedt 22-1-92-2, Muthusamy 21-0-93-0.

South Africa A second-innings: Sarel Erwee c Bharat b Siraj 3, D. Malan c Bharat b Siraj 0, Zubayr Hamza (batting) 46, Khaya Zondo lbw Siraj 0, Senuran Muthusamy c Vihari b Siraj 41, Rudi Second (batting) 4, Extras (lb-4, w-1): 5; Total (four wickets in 40 overs): 99.

Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-6, 3-6, 4-92.

India A bowling: Siraj 10-4-18-4, Saini 10-6-9-0, Gurbani 4-0-23-0, Axar 9-0-24-0, Chahal 5-1-19-0, Vihari 2-0-2-0.