Marchant de Lange took four wickets to put South Africa A in control of their four-day match against Australia A, as the hosts were dismissed for 239 on day one in Townsville. Gareth Stevens reports.
The home captain, Moises Henriques, won the toss and in typical Australian fashion elected to bat first. Opening batsman Phillip Hughes has fond memories of playing against South Africa, as he almost single-handedly won a Test series in the rainbow nation a few years ago, but he fell for 23 to Lions quick Hardus Viljoen. His departure left the hosts on 29-2 in the ninth over.
Tom Cooper and Callum Ferguson then steadied the ship by putting on an 80-run partnership, scoring 36 and 47 respectively, before both were caught behind by Mangaliso Mosehle off the bowling of De Lange. The Titans opening bowler used his raw pace to finish with figures of 4-53 off 17.3 overs.
The spearhead of the South African attack was well supported as every bowler chipped in with at least one wicket. They hunted as a pack and dismissed Australia in the 80th over. The efficiency of the bowling unit meant that the batsmen had to face 11 overs before stumps.
David White nicked off to South African born Michael Neser to fall for 17. He was the only casualty as Reeza Hendricks and night watchman Viljoen ended the day undefeated on nine and zero respectively, taking the total to 26-1.
South Africa A will start day two trailing by 213 runs with nine wickets in hand. Their impressive bowling performance on a good wicket, lead by de Lange, has afforded players like Hendricks, Rilee Rossouw, Temba Bavuma and Justin Ontong plenty of time to bat big in their first innings before the team pushes for a result on days three and four.
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