PRETORIA: A lower-order fightback by South Africa 'A' enabled them to reach 231 for 6 at the end of the first day's play in the second 'unofficial' Test, after India 'A' had reduced them to 97 for six at the LC de Villiers Oval, here on Saturday.
Off-spinner Parvez Rasool (2/17) and paceman Ishwar Pandey (2/35) ripped the heart out of the hosts' batting, before stubborn fifties by the Nos. 7 and 8 - left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell (64*) and all-rounder Simon Harmer (68*) - resurrected the innings.
The pair added 134 in an unbroken union for the seventh wicket, as India 'A' searched in vain for more wickets.
It all went haywire for the home team after Justin Ontong elected to bat. Openers Dean Elgar (0) and Reeza Hendricks (2) were dismissed off successive deliveries, by medium-pacers Siddharth Kaul and Ishwar Pandey respectively, before Pandey sent back Rilee Rossouw (3) to make it 11/3 in the seventh over.
Ontong (28) and Thami Tsolekeli (13) sought to restore some order, but the captain was the fourth to fall, caught by M. Vijay off left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem. Soon after lunch, Rasool removed Tsolekeli and Temba Bavuma (42) in the same over, pulling South Africa 'A' down to 97/6.
Parnell and Harmer then began their thwarting of India's bowling. At close, Parnell had eight hits to the fence, while Harmer had nine to go with one over it.
India 'A' had won the first 'unofficial' Test by an innings and 13 runs.
Brief scores, 1st day: South Africa 'A 231/6 in 81.3 overs (Harmer 68*, Parnell 64*, Bavuma 42, Ontong 28, Rasool 2/39, Pandey 2/49) vs India 'A'