South Africa’s A-team bowlers struggled in a batting paradise as the Indian Board XI ran up 201-2 in reply to South Africa’s 473-4 in the warm-up match in Bengaluru.
Having closed day one on 389-2, Cobras batsman Zubayr Hamza retired on his overnight score of 104, but the South Africans only batted on for 25 more overs. During that time, Rassie van der Dussen was caught behind off the medium pace of Atit Sheth in the fourth over of the day, having added just four runs to his day-one total of 35.
Senuran Muthusamy and Rudi Second put on 77 in 21 overs for the fourth wicket, and when Muthusamy (31) was trapped lbw by offspinner Jalaj Saxena, captain Khaya Zondo called them in with the score on 473-4. Second was on 44 off 73 balls (seven fours).
In contrast, the South Africans gave their pacemen a work-out, who used six bowlers, but by tea just one wicket had fallen, to Malusi Siboto, and 108 runs had been scored. A total of 26 overs later Dane Piedt and Shaun von Berg, fresh from the bench in the Sri Lanka Test series, were introduced in the final session, and there was early success for Von Berg, who had the opener, Ramaswamy Sanjay, caught behind when on 87 off 113 balls (17 fours, one six). Six overs later, bad light stopped play for the day with the Indian Board on 201-2 off 45 overs. We can expect more of the same on day three.
Von Berg was expensive, going for more than six an over (1-37 off six), as were Beuran Hendricks (0-31 off six) and Cobras seamer Mthiwekhaya Nabe (0-37 off six) on his debut.
Whatever the South Africans have learned, there can be no doubt that the wicket for the first unofficial Test, starting on 4 August, also in Bengaluru, will not be a similar featherbed.