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Shubhman Gill and Jalaj Saxena score half-centuries as India A holds edge over South Africa A

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Shubhman Gill and Jalaj Saxena score half-centuries as India A holds edge over South Africa A

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SportsCafe Desk

09/10/2019

India A captain Shubman Gill missed out on a century after he was dismissed at 90 on Day two of the 1st unofficial Test against South Africa A. Meanwhile Jalaj Saxena remained undefeated on 61 as India A dominated the entire second day and have South Africa A trailing behind in their second innings.

Brief scores: South Africa A: 164 all out in 51.5 overs and 125 for 5 in 35 overs (Zubayr Hamza 44, Heinrich Klaasen 35 batting; S Nadeem 2/13). 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).

Shubhman Gill-led India A team have put the visiting South Africa A in trouble at Thiruvananthapuram, where they're playing the first unofficial Test match. South Africa posted a total of 164 in the first innings in response to which India A were tottering on 199 for 7.

However, Jalaj Saxena(61*) and Shardul Thakur(34) added 100 runs to the eighth-wicket partnership and took India A to a total of 303. Saxena, who was a late inclusion in the squad as cover for K Gowtham, turned out to be a boon for the team as he hit 11 fours in his 96-ball knock after coming in at No. 7. The first half of the innings was consolidated by Shubhman Gill's 90, which he valiantly hit forming partnerships with the top-order that failed to produce another half-century.

Trailing by 139-run, South Africa A had their second successive top-order collapse in the third innings of the game and saw themselves reeling at 125 for 5 at stumps Day 2. 

While South Africa aren't having a great game, off-spinner Dane Piedt - who was overlooked for the Test series - impressed with bowling figures of 3 for 84. Meanwhile, fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, who is part of the Test squad but not the T20Is that precede it, also produced a three-wicket haul and the left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy, who is hopeful of a Test debut, went wicketless in his seven overs in the first innings.

As far as South Africa A's batting is concerned, after a failed show in the first innings the top order's efforts were only marginally better in the second innings - 52 for 4 as compared to being 20 for 4 in the first. Zubayr Hamza, South Africa A's No.3, scored an 81-ball 44 which added some promise for the team on Day 2 but after his dismissal, the batting fell once again. Together Hamza and limited-overs specialist Henrich Klaasen did some damage in between with a 42-run partnership.

While Mohammed Siraj helped India A remove Pieter Malan in the first over, the other opener and captain Aiden Markram nicked behind to KS Bharat off Shardul Thakur's delivery. India A have enough runs on board from the first innings and with South Africa A still trailing by 14 runs with only 5 wickets remaining, expect a small target and a third day wrap up.

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