South Africa 'A' in control
Thami Tsolekile and Dean Elgar (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - Dean Elgar and Thami Tsolekile shared a 267-run, sixth-wicket partnership to move South Africa 'A' to a 140-run lead against Australia 'A' on Day 3 of the first unofficial four-day Test in Pretoria on Friday. South Africa posted 614/7 at stumps.
The Australians kept their bowling tight at the start of the day on a wicket that offered nothing to them but for the wicket of Vaughn van Jaarsveld (17) first thing in the morning.
They managed to contain the batsmen and keep the run rate low but it was not destined to last.
It took Elgar 89 balls to get from 151 to a beautifully played double ton.
Tsolekile played a remarkable supporting innings, reaching his fifth first-class century, this one coming off 191 balls.
The Tea break did the trick for the visitors.
Dean Elgar was stumped thanks to some fast hands by Tim Paine off Glenn Maxwell for a career best 268.
Tsolekile went on to share a 37-run partnership with Simon Harmer (29) and reach an outstanding 159 off 256 balls before Fawad Ahmed brought an end to his career best innings.
He is satisfied with his performance after opening day jitters; "I was quite nervous coming in because I haven’t played cricket in a few months so I’m really happy that my preparation worked.
"We knew that we had to get as close to their (Australia’s) score as possible, if one or two of us got close to (David) Warner and (Glenn) Maxwell’s scores, anything would be possible.
"Now, we just need to come in tomorrow and try to bowl them out and see if we can win this game," he commented.
South Africa coach, Vincent Barnes is pleased with his batsmen’s performances today, he is particularly happy to see the senior players putting up their hands and batting out most of the day.
"When you get a pitch like this which is good for batting, it’s good to see guys take that opportunity and make use of it," he said.
"Dean showed his class as a Test player, it was really good to see both him and Thami take that opportunity and show their experience."
He is also satisfied with his team’s performance so far but believes there is always room for improvement especially in a team that has not played a lot of cricket because of the winter season at home.
"For most of the guys it was their first time out in the middle, there’s been a lot of rustiness and it’s good to see how quickly they have gotten rid of those cob webs.
"Tomorrow, I’d like us to do better with the ball.
"It’s a difficult wicket to bowl on and there’s not a lot to offer but I’d like to see better skills than we showed in the first innings, I’d also like more consistency in the areas we bowl," he concluded.