Pretoria: Beuran Hendricks maiden first-class ten-wicket haul helped South Africa A seal a comfortable 121-run win in the second unofficial Test against India A in Pretoria and square the two-match series. Hendricks ran through India’s top order to leave them in tatters at 18 for 5 by the 10th over. The target of 307 appeared beyond the horizon for India at that stage, though Ajinkya Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha hit half-centuries to give the visitors an outside chance.
It was Hendricks’ match all through, however. He had picked up five wickets in the first innings and had removed M Vijay in his first over of the second innings on day three, and there was no let-off for India’s batsmen on the last day. Hendricks struck on his seventh ball of the day to dismiss Shahbaz Nadeem, the nightwatchman, and followed it up with the wicket of Dinesh Karthik two balls later. Ambati Rayudu became Hendricks’ ninth victim when he edged one to the wicketkeeper next over. That India lost their best batsman, Cheteshwar Pujara, to a run-out off the first ball of the day meant that the visitors had all but squandered the chase.
Rahane and Saha redeemed the situation to some extent for India with a strong sixth-wicket stand of 160. The mammoth partnership was, however, bookended by two collapses, as none of the other batsmen were able to get into double-digit scores. The two batsmen took different approaches when they came together; Rahane did the bulk of the scoring, while Saha held on to his end. He was on 14 off 57 balls when Rahane reached his half-century off 67 deliveries. But Saha soon found relative fluency, driving two deliveries off a Simon Harmer over to the boundary. The partnership was about grind though – they reached the hundred off their partnership off 180 deliveries.
It was Hendricks again who got past the defences of Rahane to trigger the second collapse as the last five wickets fell for eight runs. Harmer, who had picked up four wickets in the first innings, added three more to his tally towards the end.
South Africa A 341 (Harmer 96, Parnell 91) & 166 for 5 dec (Elgar 62, Nadeem 3-56) beat India A 201 (Pujara 54, Hendricks 5-36, Harmer 4-74) and 185 (Rahane 86, Saha 77*, B Hendricks 6-27) by 121 runs