Cricket

Aiden Markram tunes up for Test series with 161 as South Africa A fightback

India A 417 and 14 for 0 lead South Africa A 400 (Markram 161, Mulder 131*, Kuldeep 4-121, Nadeem 3-76) by 31 runs

For the first time on their tour of India, South Africa A showed some fight. After managing just 164 and 186 in their seven-wicket loss in the first four-day game, their batting clicked, with Aiden Markram, who in all likelihood will open for South Africa in the first of three Tests starting on October 2 in Visakhapatnam, top-scoring with 161 in Mysore.

His 155-run sixth-wicket stand with allrounder Wiaan Mulder, who made his fourth first-class century, lifted South Africa A from 142 for 5. They were eventually bowled out for 400 but came within 17 runs of India A’s 471, which was put together on the back of half-centuries from Shubman Gill (92), Karun Nair (78), Shivam Dube (68) and Wriddhiman Saha (60).

Mulder, who picked up three wickets in the first innings, remained unbeaten on 131 when last man Lungi Ngidi was dismissed in the 110th over, in the final session on the third day. The spinners bowled more than half the overs for India A, 65.3 to be precise, with Kuldeep Yadav picking up 4 for 121 in 29 overs. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who had three wickets, complemented him. Left out of the Test squad after the Caribbean tour, Umesh Yadav went wicketless after 18 overs of toil.

In reply, Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran, who lost out to Gill in the race to the third opener’s slot, took India A to 14 for no loss in six overs when bad light forced an early end to proceedings. India A’s overall lead stands at 31, with draw looking the most likely result with one day remaining.

India A earlier took the one-day series 4-1 in Thiruvananthapuram before winning the first four-dayer comprehensively.

Article source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1201280.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

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