SA ‘A’ firmly in control on day two of Test

2012-07-02 00:00

SOUTH Africa “A” were firmly in control at close of play on day two of the first unofficial Test match against Sri Lanka “A” at Kingsmead yesterday, finishing on 425/6, an overall lead of 255 with two days remaining.

After a first day that saw the hosts dominate with the ball, bowling the islanders out for 170 in 41 overs after SA “A” Skipper Faf du Plessis sent them in, it was the turn of the home batsmen to dominate on a pitch which, although moist and lively on the opening day, baked under a warm winter sun on day two.

Rory Kleinveld and Wayne Parnell did the damage with the ball, claiming 4/47 and 3/72 respectively as only four Sri Lankan batsmen reached double figures. At 117/9, it looked bleak for the visitors but a lively 51 in 54 balls with eight fours from Kosala Kulasekara added a touch of respectability to the scoreboard.

Losing opener Stiaan van Zyl (11) and Rilee Rossouw (13) early on, SA “A” finished on 141/2, Dean Elgar 78 not out and du Plessis 35 not out.

Day two belonged to this pair, who shared a third-wicket partnership of 292, taking the score from 58/2 to 350. Elgar was out for 171, his 16th first-class century, and Du Plessis went for 144, his eighth first-class century.

Their dismissals saw a mini collapse as they departed within five balls of each other and with Tsami Tsolikile going for four, it was suddenly 367/5.

Ryan McLaren, out for 29 in what was the final ball of the day, and Farhaan Behardien, undefeated on 42, added 58 to have the South Africans on 425/6, an overall lead of 255.

The Sri Lankans toiled manfully in the Durban sun, working hard for their wickets. Unlike the South Africans, they made full use of their three spinners, more to achieve the desired over rate rather than initiate any major breakthroughs.

Best of the bowlers was Nuwan Kulasekara, who has 3/86 from 21 overs.

It’s a long way back for the Sri Lankans from here and it appears a declaration today by Du Plessis will allow him to unleash his well rested placement for another onslaught with the possibility or wrapping up the match.

SCORES

Sri Lanka A 170 (Kosala Kulasekera 51; Rory Kleinveldt 4/47, Wayne Parnell 3/72, Ryan McLaren2/25)

SA A 425/6 (Dean Elgar 171, Faf du Plessis 144; Kulasekera 3/86)

SA A lead by 255 with 4 first innings wickets remaining.

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