India A now enjoy a 165-run lead after Mohammed Siraj took five for 56 to bowl out South Africa A for 246.
Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw flayed the South Africa-A bowlers to put India-A in a commanding position on the second day of the first unofficial Test here on Sunday.
Agarwal (220 batting, 250b, 31×4, 4×6) and Shaw (136, 196b, 20×4, 1×6) took India-A to 411 for two, giving the home side a healthy lead of 165 runs.
The duo was severe on all the bowlers. The cover and point regions were peppered with boundaries, as Mayank and Shaw drove and cut brilliantly. Even a sweeper-cover fielder — stationed by a helpless skipper Khaya Zondo — could not stop the flow of runs.
The entertaining knocks ensured that India-A travelled at a brisk rate. The team’s 100 came in 18 overs, and the 200-mark arrived in just 36.1 overs. The ordinary South Africa-A bowling attack looked incapable of beating the bat, let alone breaking the partnership.
Leg-spinner Shaun von Berg sought to prise out a dismissal, when shortly after lunch, he engaged in a heated verbal exchange with Shaw.
The Mumbai batsman responded with a few choice words of his own, before the umpires and Mayank intervened and made peace. Von Berg, however, was forced to beat a hasty retreat when Mayank smacked him for a couple of fours through square-leg.
Mayank — the highest run-scorer in the Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy last season — continued his golden form. The first two deliveries that he faced were dispatched to the cover-point fence, and there was no stopping him from there. He raced to his eighth First Class hundred in 102 balls, and brought up his double with a fierce pull off Siboto.
In the last two months alone, which includes the India-A tour of England, he has scored three List-A centuries and one First Class double century.
Mayank and Shaw put on 277 runs for the first wicket, before Shaw was bowled through bat and pad by off-spinner Dane Piedt. One-drop R. Samarth was sent back caught-behind for 37, before Shreyas Iyer (9 batting) and Mayank stuck around until close of play.
South Africa-A — 1st innings: Pieter Malan c Bharat b Siraj 7 (13b, 1×4), Sarel Erwee c Bharat b Gurbani 47 (120b, 7×4), Zubayr Hamza c Mayank b Siraj 0 (3b), Khaya Zondo c Bharat b Saini 24 (51b, 5×4), Senuran Muthusamy c Samarth b Saini 23 (76b, 3×4), Rudi Second c Bharat b Siraj 94 (139b, 12×4), Shaun von Berg c Vihari b Chahal 15 (68b, 2×4), Dane Piedt lbw b Gurbani 5 (26b, 1×4), Malusi Siboto (not out) 13 (32b, 2×4), Bueran Hendricks lbw b Siraj 6 (5b, 1×4), Duanne Olivier c Bharat b Siraj 0 (2b); Extras (b-4, lb-3, nb-4, w-1): 12; Total (in 88.3 overs): 246.
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Malan, 4.4 overs), 2-20 (Hamza, 6.5), 3-70 (Zondo, 25.2), 4-93 (Erwee, 35.1), 5-152 (Muthusamy, 53.1), 6-191 (von Berg, 71.4), 7-209 (Piedt, 78.2), 8-238 (Second, 84.5), 9-246 (Hendricks, 88.1).
India-A bowling: Mohammed Siraj 20.3-3-56-5, Navdeep Saini 17-5-47-2, Rajneesh Gurbani 15-6-47-2, Axar Patel 17-3-35-0, Yuzvendra Chahal 19-3-54-1.
India-A — 1st innings: Prithvi Shaw b Piedt 136 (196b, 20×4, 1×6), Mayank Agarwal (batting) 220 (250b, 31×4, 4×6), R. Samarth c Second b Olivier 37 (65b, 5×4), Shreyas Iyer (batting) 9 (14b, 2×4); Extras (b-4, lb-1, nb-3, w-1): 9; Total (for two wkts. in 87 overs): 411.
Fall of wickets: 1-277 (Shaw, 58.5), 2-395 (Samarth, 83.1).
South Africa-A bowling: B. Hendricks 11-0-49-0, Duanne Olivier 17-3-69-1, Malusi Siboto 12-0-74-0, von Berg 15-1-83-0, Dane Piedt 14-1-56-1, Senuran Muthusamy 18-0-75-0.