INDIA A TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA, 2021
Abhimanyu Easwaran made 103. © Getty
Abhimanyu Easwaran scored a century while Priyank Panchal made 96 as India A came up with a strong reply on the third day of the first unofficial Test against South Africa. In Bloemfontein, the visitors ended the day with 308 for 4 on the board but still trail by 201 runs.
After resuming on 125 for 1, which was set up by Prithvi Shaw’s aggressive 48, Easwaran and Panchal scored 142 for the second wicket to ensure the South Africa A bowlers had to endure a hard toil. The pair had come together in the 14th over and were together till the 59th. The captain got to his half-century in the 37th over while Easwaran got to his on the 46th.
George Linde broke the stand when he trapped Panchal lbw after a 171-ball stay as the captain fell four short of his 25th first-class century. Hanuma Vihari played out 18 dot balls but opened his account with a boundary. However, he fell for 25 – to Linde – as India A slipped to 264 for 3. India needed Easwaran to kick on and score a big century but the right-hander fell soon after reaching the landmark. He was Lutho Sipamla’s second wicket as South Africa A made a strong comeback with three big breakthroughs.
Baba Aparajith and Upendra Yadav were unbeaten at stumps – having made 14 off 58 – as the match will head into the final day with draw being the likely result. Earlier, in the opening two days, Pieter Malan and Tony de Zorzi made centuries to ensure South Africa A were able to declare with 509 for 7 on the board. Navdeep Saini and Arzan Nagwaswalla bagged two each while Rahul Chahar and Umran Malik got one wicket each.
Brief scores: South Africa A 509/7 dec (Pieter Malan 163, Tony de Zorzi 117; Navdeep Saini 2-57) leadIndia A 308/4 (Abhimanyu Easwaran 103, Priyank Panchal 96; George Linde 2-32) by 201 runs.