Aiden Markram and Heino Kuhn put on a 164-run opening stand for SA A, but it wasn’t enough to prevent them from struggling against England Lions on day two.
With the England Lions going into day two on 302-7, the match was well poised in Canterbury. The key for the hosts was Ben Foakes, who went into it on 77 not out, and he continued to frustrate the South Africans on Thursday.
He managed to build up a 44-run stand with Tom Helm (20), who scored 15 before Beuran Hendricks (2-79) claimed his second wicket of the innings. The next stand produced 53 runs, and it was in this partnership, with Jack Leach (16), that Foakes was able to bring up three figures with his seventh first-class century.
Foakes was on 127 before the last wicket fell, Junior Dala (3-63) bowling Jamie Porter for a duck to bowl the Lions out for 386.
A sizeable task was at hand for SA A, but Markram and Kuhn had it completely under control as they raced to a 164-run stand off 40.4 overs. With both in contention for a potential place in the four-match Test squad to face England, they made it count at exactly the right time. Kuhn, however, will feel like he’s just ahead in the race.
Markram would be the first to fall for 71, but Kuhn powered on in brisk fashion, following up his double century against Hampshire with 105 off just 118 balls here.
The loss of the openers, in which Jamie Overton (2-27) accounted for both of them, sparked a dramatic collapse, which leaves SA A in all kinds of trouble now, going into day three.
In a three-over blitz, Porter took three wickets, as Theunis de Bruyn (11), Khaya Zondo (1) and Heinrich Klaasen (0) all fell cheaply. Temba Bavuma could only muster 10, and one over before the close of play Dane Piedt (7) departed too.
SA A have been left stranded on 227-7, trailing by 159 runs, with Wiaan Mulder (13) and Hendricks (0) looking to lead the resistance on Friday.
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