Theunis de Bruyn completed a superb maiden double century to put South Africa A in a powerful position on day two of the first unofficial four-day Test match against the England Lions at Boland Park on Monday.
As soon as he reached the career landmark, which coincided with taking the total past 500, Rory Kleinveldt declared the innings closed at 504 for eight, leaving his bowlers with a maximum of 48 overs to make inroads into the England top-order.
By the close the visitors had responded with 169 for three to cut the deficit to 335 runs. A remarkable feature of De Bruyn’s innings was the relatively small number of balls to which he did not offer a stroke as a high proportion of his runs came in boundaries (202 off 275 balls, 30 fours).
It was his second first-class century, with his first having come on debut less than a year ago for Northerns against Namibia in Windhoek. This is only his 10th first-class match and he has already made 908 runs at an average of 53.40.
Liam Plunkett (four for 91 in 26 overs) and Mark Wood (two for 99 in 30) shared six of the eight wickets to fall between them – and were the pick of the visiting attack. England looked like making a runaway start to their reply as they hit 11 boundaries in the first nine overs in taking the total past 50 with Sam Robson, the current England Test incumbent opening batsman, being the main contributor.