New Proteas ODI call-up Rilee Rossouw and Temba Bavuma both scored tons on day two of SA A’s unofficial Test against Australia A.
South Africa A pressed home their advantage, after Marchant de Lange’s four-for had helped restrict Australia A to a first innings total of 239 on day one.
Starting the day on 26-1, the overnight pair of Reeza Hendricks and Hardus Viljoen (acting as nightwatchman) were dismissed within the first 15 overs of the day. Justin Ontong also went early, to leave SA A reeling on 59-4.
At that point, Australia A must have been licking their lips at the prospect of gaining a first-innings lead, but Rossouw and Bavuma had other ideas.
They amassed an unbroken 283-run partnership for the fifth wicket, chasing down Australia A’s total, and compiling a lead of 103 runs at stumps.
Rossouw, who will leave Australia at the conclusion of this game to join the Proteas ODI squad in Zimbabwe, reached 162 not out at the close of play, scoring at a strike rate above 70. Bavuma took the junior role in the partnership, scoring at a more sedate pace, but he still crossed the three figure mark, finshing on 125 not out at stumps.
SA A were on 342-4 at stumps, and will want to post at least another 100 runs on the third morning, before attempting to bowl Australia A out cheaply again. The unofficial Test is a four-day game, so they will have to work quickly if they want to turn this advantage into a victory.
Luckily, in Marchant de Lange, Kagiso Rabada, Hardus Viljoen and Simon Harmer, they have the bowling firepower to take the wickets required. The pressure will be on the batsman who, despite having already compiled large totals, will need make one last big effort to get the lead above 200.
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