Rookie Marco Jansen was a surprise top-scorer with the bat and then claimed a wicket as South Africa A experienced a difficult opening to their two-match Test series against India A in Trivandrum on Monday.
The tourists were dismissed for just 164 after batting first at the Greenfield International Stadium before the hosts reached stumps on 129 for two – trailing by just 35 runs after day one.
Jansen, a 19-year-old fast bowler, first struck an unbeaten 45 off 69 balls to rescue his team from a dire 101 for eight and then the teenager grabbed one for 19 to complete a solid maiden appearance for the national A side.
His performance was one of the only positives from an otherwise tough day for the South Africans, who came into the game on the back of a 4-1 loss in the five-match one-day series.
Bolstered by a hosts of Standard Bank Proteas Test squad members, they lost the toss at the start and were asked to make first use of the pitch.
But they found themselves in trouble from ball four when captain Aiden Markram was dismissed for a duck.
Pieter Malan followed, also without failing to trouble the scorers, leaving the away side on nought for two.
Zubayr Hamza (13) at least reached double figures, and, along with Senuran Muthusamy (12), was the only other top-order play to have twin numbers next to his name.
Khaya Zondo (6) and Heinrich Klaasen (0) also failed as SA A dropped to 22 for five, with India Test seamer Shardul Thakur grabbing three for 29 early on.
Wiaan Mulder (21), Dane Piedt (33) and Lungi Ngidi (15) then helped Jansen put up some sort of a total before being bowled out in 51.5 overs.
Spinners Krishnappa Gowtham (3/64) and Shahbaz Nadeem (2/37) were the other bowlers to get amongst the wickets, leaving India on top after the first innings of the game.
The home sides’ reply began well thanks to Shubman Gill (49 not out) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (30) after they shared an opening stand worth 48.
Jansen then cleaned up the latter, with a 58-run second-wicket partnership between the former and Ricky Bhui (26) following.
Ngidi (1/18) managed to end that union before stumps, leaving Ankit Bawne (six) as the other unbeaten batsman at the close.
SA A four-day squad: Aiden Markram (Multiply Titans, capt), Theunis de Bruyn (Multiply Titans), Zubayr Hamza (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Lungi Ngidi (Multiply Titans), George Linde (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Pieter Malan (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Eddie Moore (Warriors), Senuran Muthusamy (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Marco Jansen (VKB Knights), Dane Piedt (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Wiaan Mulder (Imperial Lions), Heinrich Klaasen (Multiply Titans), Lutho Sipamla (Warriors), Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins).