Duanne Olivier took five quick wickets in an early morning spell to give South Africa a fighting chance in the second unofficial Test against India A in Bengaluru.
Whatever was said overnight, it certainly worked: India A fell from 322-4 at the start of the day to 345 all out in 11 overs, with the Knights paceman on fire. The batsmen stepped, too, and when play ended early, South Africa A were 219-3, trailing by 126.
Olivier started the collapse by bowling Srikar Bharat, after he added four to his overnight score of 30, and then trapping Jayant Yadav lbw four balls later in the seventh over of the day. Anrich Nortje weighed in with the immense wicket of Hanuma Vihari, who had advanced just 10 runs from his brilliant 138 on day one.
The tail was then exposed to the unplayable Olivier, who took the last three wickets for the addition of five runs, ending with the impressive figures of 6-63 off 24 overs, while Nortje had 2-69.
The first-innings target of 345 was by no means insignificant, but Sarel Erwee and Zubayr Hamza rose to the occasion after the first-ball loss of Pieter Malan. They put on 154, when Hamza was undone by the leg break googly of Yuzvendra Chahal, after an aggressive 93 off 125 balls, including 15 fours.
Erwee was looking well set, with the score on 163-2, when he was trapped lbw by Chahal, on 58.
Rassie van der Dussen (18) and Rudi Second (35) have settled in well, but the day was cut short by rain when South Africa were 219-3. That could be a telling factor as the South Africans need to win this final ‘Test’, after losing by an innings in the first.
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