SA still trail by 51 runs, but they also only have a day - depending on the weather - to try and manufacture a result.
Rain was the winner on the third day of the second ‘Test’ between India A and South Africa A, in Alur, Bengaluru yesterday.
Only 33 overs were possible, during which time the visitors advanced from 219/3, to 294/7.
They still trail by 51 runs, but they also only have a day – depending on the weather – to try and manufacture a result.
The odds are stacked heavily against either of those prospects, and they will more likely find an honourable draw, and a 1-0 series defeat. The third day was well set up, with South Africa’s middle-order tasked with trying to go past the Indian total, and then try and sneak a useful lead.
The home bowlers, still wincing at the mauling their senior side is currently experiencing at the home of cricket (Lord’s) against England, were helped by the gloomy conditions above, and made scoring difficult.
Rudi Second, who plays for the Knights in South Africa, and who has enjoyed an excellent trip with both the gloves and bat, made his way to 47, but saw his overnight partner (from the Higveld Lions) Rassie van der Dussen drive loosely at Anjit Rakpoot, to be caught behind. Second was then dismissed by the fast bowler, as he flicked straight to mid-wicket, and gave away a promising visit to the crease.
As the skies went even gloomier, India stuck to their task, with Lions all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius smartly caught by a tumbling Mohammed Siraj at cover, to hand off-spinner Jayant Yadav a scalp. Stand-in captain Dane Piedt, the Cobras off-spinner and more than handy with the willow, was dropped on his very first ball and then threw caution to the building breeze. Piedt carted a six and three more boundaries in an enterprising assault on the slow men.
That prompted the return of the quick Siraj, and it wasn’t long before the new-ball operator sent Piedt and his leg-stump back to the sheds.
Beyond that cameo, there was no time for any more play, as the umpires pointed the players back in. The Dolphins’ Senuran Muthusamy was on a patient 23 not out, and will resume on the final day trying to at least nudge ahead of India.
A moral victory might be all South Africa A can now muster from a match ruined by the elements.