U-19 Test: Shokeen takes four to give India colts control

Having bowled out South Africa Under-19 for a paltry 197, India Under-19 at stumps was 95 for the loss of three wickets on Day one of the first Youth Test.

Hrithik Shokeen starred with the ball by taking four wickets.   -  M.R.Praveen Chandran

Matthew Montgomery did everything right he could do as captain. He won the toss and bravely chose to bat and when his turn came he grafted to score a half-century.

But India Under-19 took a stranglehold of the first Youth Test at the end of the opening day’s play at the KCA-St.Xavier’s College ground on Wednesday.

South Africa Under-19 innings, which was sandwiched between two half-century partnerships and regular loss of wickets, ended for paltry 197 runs. In reply, India-19 was 95 for three at stumps with opener Divyaansh Saxena unbeaten on 44.

The rot began in the first over for South Africa when Thamsanqa Kumalo was yorked by Anshul Kamboj for nought.

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South Africans lost three wickets inside the first hour when conditions were ideal for swing bowling to slip to 39 for three.

But Mathew Montgomery checked the damage and along with Bonga Makhakha began the repair work when the pitch eased out.

The two added 61 runs for the fourth wicket as South Africa went into the lunch at a respectable 100 for three.

However, off spinner Hrithik Shokeen’s first over after lunch, saw the momentum shift to India. Bonga was bowled around his legs going for a sweep and Montgomery was trapped in front trying to reverse sweep Shokeen. Luke Beaufort (0) then shouldered arms to a straight ball from medium pacer Sabir Khan.

South Africa slipped to 139 for seven when Suraj Ahuja pulled out a smart stumping to dismiss Marco Jansen (6) off Shokeen.

But Bycre Parsons (58) and Achille Cloete (15) began the rearguard action with a 58-run eighth wicket stand. Cloete was was run-out and South Africa lost the remaining two wickets without any further addition to the total.

Lifa Ntanzi rearranged Varun Nayanar’s stump in the first over to give the visitor a great start. But Vathsal Govind struck a few crisp boundaries off the erratic Ntanzi to seize control.

However, Vathsal fended a catch to wicketkeeper Beaufort off the impressive left arm medium pacer Marco Jansen for 23 as India slipped to 36 for two.

After a slow start Divyaansh Saxena got into his groove and played a few rasping backfoot drives off both medium pacers and spinners. Yashasvi Jaiswal too looked good for a big score until he got out against the tide for 23, tapping a gentle floater back to bowler Bryce Parson.

The scores:

South Africa Under-19: 197 in 67.5 overs (Bryce Parsons 58, Matthew Montgomery 57, Bonga Makhakha 31, Hrithik Shokeen four for 50) v India Under-19 95 for three in 19.2 overs (Divyaansh Saxena 44 batting).