Axar Patel headed a fine fightback by India A’s trio of spin bowlers to restrict South Africa A to a disappointing 260 all out at stumps on the opening day of the decisive second unofficial four-day Test match at the Krishnagiri Stadium in Wayanad on Tuesday.
The South Africans, who won the toss, had made a strong start when Reeza Hendricks (22) and Stiaan van Zyl (96) put on 58 for the first wicket, Van Zyl and Gihahn Cloete (26) a further 49 for the second wicket and Van Zyl and Omphile Ramela 78 to reach 185-3 in 59 overs.
But Patel and his partners then sparked a calamitous collapse that saw the last seven wickets fall for only 75 runs. Van Zyl stood alone with his innings of 96 off 193 balls (13 fours and a six) with extras making the next highest contribution of 33.
Temba Bavuma made a hard fought 17 off 76 balls, while Quinton de Kock, who was sent on this tour to regain some form and replied by scoring three hundreds in three consecutive innings, went for a duck, getting himself stumped.
Patel finished with figures of 5-92 – the fourth five-wicket haul of his first-class career – while off spinner Jayant Yadav took 3-53 and leg spinner Karn Sharma 2-36.