Cape Cobras off-spinner Dane Piedt took five wickets to put the South African A team in a powerful position to push for victory over India A on the last day’s play on Friday.
His 5-85 was instrumental in dismissing the Indians for 204, in reply to the visitors’ daunting offering of 542. Keshav Maharaj’s left-arm spin backed him up with two wickets for 13 runs. They had been 122-3 at the start of the day, but when Piedt made a breakthrough after 10 overs, the wickets tumbled regularly. From 147-3, just 57 runs were scraped together.
Then came a strange passage of play in which Dane Vilas elected not to enforce the follow on, and batted again for just 110 minutes and 33 overs. In that time Reeza Hendricks made merry, scoring 61 runs off 69 balls with 10 fours and a six. He put on 95 for the first wicket with Stiaan van Zyl, who cemented himself in at one end, taking 121 balls for his unbeaten 38. Theunis de Bruyn meandered through 21 deliveries, with just two scoring strokes for his five. At which point Vilas called them in at 105-1.
India A were 73-2 at the close with a run out and Maharaj producing the breakthroughs. India face a long hard day of defensive play on the final day, still trailing by 371 runs.
It was a splendid reward for Piedt, who has had a troubled time since making his Test match debut against Zimbabwe just over a year ago, taking eight wickets. He has been severely hampered by a a shoulder injury that only came right after an extensive off-season period of rehabilitation.