India A edged closer to a resounding victory over South Africa A in the first unofficial Test despite a rain-hit day three in which only 20 overs could be bowled.
India captured four wickets to reduce South Africa A to 179/9, who go into day four with a paltry lead of 40 runs in the second innings.
Majority of overs were lost at the Greenfield stadium in Thiruvananthapuram due to overnight rain and a wet outfield. India A had made 303 in reply to South Africa A’s first innings score of 164.
The hosts made most of the play possible as spinners Shahbaz Nadeem (3/17) and Jalaj Saxena (2/22) came to the party.
The overnight batsmen Heinrich Klaasen and Wiaan Mulder went on the attack and the Proteas managed to overturn the deficit.
The two added 74 runs in 18 overs with Mulder hitting four boundaries and a six. Klaasen (48) kept the team’s hopes afloat by curbing his attacking instincts and accumulating runs.
However, the run-out of Mulder for 46 by Ricky Bhui saw the Indian team gain the upper hand again as Dane Piedt (1) and Marco Jansen (0) fell in quick succession to Saxena and Nadeem respectively.
Klaasen’s patience ran out and he fell to a catch by Shardul Thakur off Saxena.
Lutho Sipamla (5 batting) and Lungi Ngidi (0 batting) were battling it out before bad light ended day’s play, ensuring that India A would need to wrap things up on the final day on Thursday.
South Africa A: 164 all out in 51.5 overs and 179 for 9 in 55 overs (Zubayr Hamza 44, Heinrich Klaasen 48; Wiaan Mulder 46, S Nadeem 3/17, Jalaj Saxena 2/22, K Gowtham 1/52).
India A: 303 all out in 87.5 overs (Shubman Gill 90, Jalaj Saxena 61 not out, Shardul Thakur 34; Lungi Ngidi 3/50, Dane Piedt 3/84).