Shubman Gill misses out on century

Thiruvananthapuram: Captain Shubman Gill missed out on a century by 10 runs while Jalaj Saxena struck 61 not out as India 'A' dominated the proceedings on the second day of the first unofficial Test against South Africa 'A' here on Tuesday.

After gaining a first innings lead of 139 by making 303 in 87.5 overs in reply to South Africa 'A' score of 164, the home side bowlers yet again produced an impressive performance at the Greenfield stadium to reduce the visitors at 125 for 5 at stumps.

South Africa 'A' now trail India 'A' by 14 runs with five second innings wickets in hand.

The talented opener Gill (90) missed out on a well-deserved century, getting bowled by off-spinner Dane Piedt. The home side captain hit 13 fours and a six from the 153 deliveries he faced.

After Gill's dismissal, India 'A' appeared to be in danger of missing out on a huge lead as the middle-order failed to live up to expectations and succumbed to the Proteas bowlers, who stuck to their task.

However, all-rounder Saxena underlined his utility, scoring 61 not out (96 balls, 11 fours), with his 100-run partnership for the eighth wicket with Shardul Thakur (34, 79 balls) sparking the revival and ensuring that India 'A' got a sizeable lead.

Resuming at the overnight 129 for 2, India 'A' lost Ankit Bawne for the addition of just four runs, bowled by left-arm paceman Marco Jansen for 6. Gill, who was striking the ball beautifully and looked good to get to his century, was dismissed by the hard-working Piedt, 10 runs short of a ton.

Wicketkeeper-batsman K S Bharat, who has been a consistent performer in domestic cricket and for India 'A' in recent years, made 33. Bharat played impressively and cracked five boundaries in his 53-ball knock, before the pacy Lutho Sipamla had him caught by Zubayr Hamza.

Mumbai all-rounder Shivam Dube, who shone in the five-match ODIs between the two teams, didn't last long, nicking Lungi Ngidi to the keeper Heinrich Klaasen for 8.

Karnataka all-rounder K Gowtham was bowled by Sipamla off the second ball he faced for a duck and India 'A' slipped from 177 for 3 to 199 for 7 and the Proteas had made a good comeback.

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