Bryce Parsons took 6-77 as the SA U19 side battled to contain the Indian U19 batsmen on day two of the first Youth Test at Thiruvananthapuram in India, but the loss of three SA U19 wickets before the close of play have put the young Proteas side under huge pressure.
The SA U19 side still need 99 runs to make the Indian U19 side bat again, and they have only seven wickets in hand after the loss of Jonathan Bird (2), Thamsanqa Khumalo (0) and skipper Matthew Montgomery (5) shortly before the end of day two.
Andile Mokgakane (16 not out) and Bonga Makhakha (11 not out) saw SA U19 through to the close on 34-3, with much work to be done on day three in order to keep the contest alive.
Anshul Kamboj picked up 2-7 off his five overs (econ 1.40) as the SA U19 side stumbled to 7-3 in the fifth over of their second innings.
Earlier in the day Divyaansh Saxena had gone to a superb century (122 off 224 balls), and he was backed up in the middle order by Suraj Ahuja (57 off 78 balls). The pair put on 105 runs for the fourth wicket in just over 27 overs to take India’s score to 200.
Number 10 batsman Rajvardhan Hangargekar slashed at the SA bowling to score 41 off just 26 balls (8×4, S/R 157.69), dominating the scoring as his teammates contributed just six runs to the score while he was at the crease.
Hangargekar was last man out, bowled by Parsons, as India closed on 330 off 92.3 overs.
Lifa Ntanzi (2-56) and Marco Jansen (2-58, econ 2.63) did well with the ball, but it was Parsons who was the destroyer-in-chief, his 6-77 coming off 25.3 overs (econ 3.01) in a sterling effort from the young all-rounder to keep his side in the game.
It will take a monumental effort for the SA U19 side to snatch victory in this ‘Test’, but with two days to go, it’s in the hands of their batsmen to determine the outcome. Results aside, the Test offers an invaluable learning experience for this talented young group of cricketers.
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