The Gleaner

West Indies A fight back on opening day

WEST INDIES A made key late strikes to haul themselves back in contention after 50s from Keegan Petersen and Raynard van Tonder helped South Africa A dominate most of the opening day of the second four-day ‘Test’ at Buffalo Park yesterday.

With the hosts cruising at 208 for three in the final sessio, fast bowlers Shamar Joseph (2-39), and Jair McAllister (2-64), along with off-spinner Kevin Sinclair (2-53), combined to send three wickets tumbling for 30 runs, as West Indies A hit back strongly.

In the end, South Africa A finished on 266 for six with Ruan de Swardt leading the recovery with an unbeaten 25, in a 28-run, unbroken seventhwicket stand with Mihlali Mpongwana (12 not out).

Petersen top-scored with 67, while van Tonder got exactly 50, Tony de Zorzi punching 44 and Khaya Zondo, chipping in with 35.

Their enterprise ensured South Africa A got the better of the early exchanges to be 118 for two at tea after bad light limited the opening session to 44 deliveries.

Resuming on 18 without loss following the protracted break, captain Neil Brand fell to the very first delivery when he was lbw to a Joseph yorker for four.

Van Tonder arrived to join de Zorzi and the pair posted 65 for the second wicket, to begin the rebuild for their side.

The 25-year-old van Tonder faced 86 balls in just under two and a half hours and struck nine fours while the 26-year-old de Zorzi, already with two Tests under his belt, struck four fours off 93 deliveries.

Sinclair broke the stand when left-hander de Zorzi was brilliantly caught at forward short leg, playing defensively, and van Tonder put on a further 39 for the third wicket with Petersen before following to the fifth ball after tea, tamely scooping a short delivery back to McAllister.

On 122 for three, South Africa A rebounded through another solid half-century stand, Petersen and Zondo adding 86 for the fourth wicket.

The 30-year-old Petersen, who has played 11 Tests, faced 124 balls in just over two and half hours with eight fours, while Zondo punched five fours and a six in a 91-ball knock.

Both fell in the late cluster of wickets. Petersen slapped Joseph to cover point, Zondo holed out to short backward square 19 balls later off Sinclair, before wicketkeeper Clyde Fortuin (12) guided a short one from McAllister to deep point.





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