Cricket

Olivier, Hamza wrest control from India A's grasp


SOUTH AFRICA A TOUR OF INDIA, 2018

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Duanne Olivier bagged 6 for 63 to turn the game on its head on Day 2 against India A. © Getty

Duanne Olivier returned figures of 6 for 63 before Zubayr Hamza (93) and Sarel Erwee (58) put on a 154-run stand for the second wicket as South Africa A flipped the script on India A on the second day of the unofficial Test in Alur.

Olivier produced a thrilling opening burst on the second morning that left India A collapse to 345 all-out, having added a mere 23 runs to their overnight score of 322 for 4. One of the six dismissed in the morning was centurion Hanuma Vihari, who was dismissed by Olivier’s fast bowling partner Anrich Nortje. But the other five wickets were all Olivier’s doing. He cleaned up Srikar Bharat and then had Jayant Yadav LBW in one over. Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj and Ankit Rajpoot offered little in the form of a resistance as South Africa A completed a stirring comeback after being put to the sword through a majority of the opening day.

Having done the bit with the ball, the visitors still needed batting consolidation. They began on a bad note when Siraj, fresh from a 10-wicket match haul in Bengaluru, had Pieter Malan LBW off the first ball of the innings. But that was about it in terms of success as a combination of lax fielding and solid batting kept India at bay.

Erwee was let off when Bharat missed a stumping attempt off Jayant Yadav while Vihari dropped a catch at slip to reprieve Hamza. Post lunch the duo tucked in for the long haul and in the process upped the scoring rate. The duo hit 22 fours and 2 sixes between them as the scoring rate comfortably hung around the 3.5 mark. The breakthrough for India came eventually through the legspin of Chahal, who dismissed both the set batsmen either side of the Tea break.

Hamza nicked a quicker delivery to Shreyas Iyer seven short of what would have been a well-deserved century while Erwee missed an attempted sweep and was adjudged LBW. India couldn’t quite cash in on that little opening as the in-form Rudi Second and Rassie van der Dussen added 56 before Stumps to reduce the deficit to 126 and cap off a solid day in the office for the visitors.

Brief scores: India A 345 (Hanuma Vihari 148, Ankit Bawne 80; Duanne Olivier 6-63) lead South Africa A 219/3 (Zubayr Hamza 93, Sarel Erwee 58; Yuzvendra Chahal 2-62) by 126 runs.

© Cricbuzz

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