Skipper Aiden Markram and allrounder Wiaan Mulder hit superb hundreds as South Africa A fought their way to 400 all out against India A on day three of the second unofficial Test at Mysuru on Thursday.
Markram geared up for the three-Test series against India with a superb 161, while Mulder produced an unbeaten 131 – his fourth first-class century – as the visitors came within 17 runs of India A’s first innings of 471.
The duo added 155 runs for the sixth-wicket stand to resurrect the South Africa A’s innings after they were struggling at 142/5 at one stage. The hosts were 14/0 in six overs before bad light resulted in play being called off with over 25 overs still to be bowled. Resuming at the overnight score of 159/5, Markram and Mulder led a brilliant fightback for South Africa A.
Markram handled the India A pacers and the three-pronged spin attack well. He hit 20 fours and two sixes in his 263-ball knock. Their stand dashed any hopes India A had of wrapping up the Proteas innings quickly after their struggles on Wednesday.
The India A bowlers went wicketless in the first session as Markram and Mulder played in a judicious manner. Mohammed Siraj finally ended Markram’s knock, having him bowled at the 87th over.
Mulder, who mixed defence with aggression, continued to frustrate the bowlers, adding 59 runs for the seventh wicket with Vernon Philander (21) and 39 runs for the eighth wicket with Dane Piedt (11). Shivam Dube ended the Mulder-Philander partnership by getting rid of the latter, caught by Karun Nair.
Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav (4/121) dismissed Piedt and Lutho Sipamla (0) before Shahbaz Nadeem (3/76) ended the innings by getting no.11 Lungi Ngidi leg-before for a duck. Mulder, who was left stranded on the other end, finished on a splendid 131 (230 balls), which included 17 fours and a six.
In their second innings, India A openers Priyank Panchal (9) and Abhimanyu Easwaran (5) took the score to 14, extending the lead to 31 before bad light ended proceedings for the day.
India A 1st innings: 417 (Shubman Gill 92, Karun Nair 78, Shivam Dube 68, Wriddhiman Saha 60, Jalaj Saxena 48*, Umesh Yadav 24; Wiaan Mulder 3/47, Dane Piedt 3/78) and 14/0 South Africa A: 400 (Aiden Markram 161, Wiaan Mulder 131*, Theunis de Bruyn 41, Kuldeep Yadav 4/121, Shahbaz Nadeem 3/76, Md. Siraj 2/72).