Hanuma Vihari scored an unbeaten century as India ‘A’ bounced back from a disjointed start on Day One of the second unofficial Test against South Africa ‘A’ in Bengaluru on Friday. The right-hander entered the fray at number three with his side in trouble, before going on to guide the hosts to 322/4 at the end of the day’s play.
It was Vihari’s 15th First-Class hundred, following a half-century in the first Test as the top returned undefeated at stumps on 138 off 273 balls (13 fours).
Earlier in the day, the visitors got the match off to a good start after captain Khaya Zondo asked India to bat first. Duanne Olivier (1/54) got them started, making immediate inroads by removing Mayank Agarwal without scoring in the first over. Anrich Nortje (1/56) capitalized on their positive start with the wicket of Prithvi Shaw (16), who edged the ball to wicket-keeper Rudi Second to leave the hosts wobbling on 18/2.
It was then up to the Indian captain, Shreyas Iyer and Vihari to help steady the ship for the home side. The pair went on to add 62 runs for the third wicket, Iyer contributing a valuable 39 off 59 balls (6 fours) before becoming Senuran Muthusamy’s (1/51) first wicket of the match. The breakthrough looked to have handed the advantage over to the visitors before Ankit Bawne and Vihari’s crucial fourth-wicket stand of 177 helped the home side gain control of the contest.
Aptly supported by Bawne, who brought up his 29th fifty in during the partnership, Vihari looked dominant at the crease. The pair led India to 257/3 before their stronghold was eventually broken by Dane Piedt (1/46), the spinner instigating a stumping to dismiss Bawne for 80 off 146 balls (10 fours, 1 six).
Vihari and new man in, Srikar Bharat (30*) combined for another frustrating partnership for South Africa ‘A’. The duo added a further 65 runs to the total as they saw the hosts to a commanding position on 322/4 at the close of play.
SA A squad (to play in four-day series against India A): Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins, capt), Sarel Erwee (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Zubayr Hamza (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Beuran Hendricks (bizhub Highveld Lions), Pieter Malan (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Senuran Muthusamy (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Mthiwekhaya Nabe (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Duanne Olivier (VKB Knights), Dane Piedt (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Dwaine Pretorius (bizhub Highveld Lions), Rudi Second (VKB Knights), Rassie van der Dussen (bizhub Highveld Lions), Malusi Siboto (bizhub Highveld Lions), Shaun von Berg (Multiply Titans).
SA A Tour to India Itinerary 2018
Four-Day Test Series
August 10-13: 2nd four-day Test match v India A, Bengaluru