Pretoria - A 134-run seventh-wicket partnership between Wayne Parnell and Simon Harmer put South Africa A in a respectable position of 231 for six on the opening day of the second unofficial Test against India A at the Tuks Cricket Oval on Saturday.
Parnell (64 not out) and Harmer (68 not out) batted with patience and executed calculated risks when needed, skills which the rest of the top order batsmen failed to follow through.
"We are in a great position compared to what we were on at lunch," batsman Temba Bavuma said at the close of play.
"The way Wayne and Simon have fought back at the end of the innings has been fantastic.
"They have put us in a good position, it will be important for us to push on tomorrow morning."
Earlier, Justin Ontong won the toss and elected to bat first in favourable conditions despite overhead cloud cover. The SA A batting line-up was immediately put under pressure at 11 for three, with the wickets of Dean Elgar (0), Reeza Hendricks (2) and Rilee Rossouw (3) in the first six overs.
"We thought with the cloud cover the ball would swing a bit more but the wicket was a bit sticky and two-paced," Bavuma said of the conditions.
The Highveld Lions batsman was once again amongst the runs, and partnered in key stands with Justin Ontong (28) and Thami Tsolekile (13) before being given out lbw for 42. The lower order offered some resistance, which built the momentum for the game-changing partnership between Parnell and Harmer.
"We would have wanted to maximise the partnerships but we'll take the position we are in now compared to then," Bavuma added.
Ishwar Pandey was the impact performer with the new ball taking two for 49, and off-spinner Parvez Rasool made an important contribution with two for 39.
SA A made one change to the side that suffered the innings and 13 run loss in Rustenburg, with Beuran Hendricks coming in for JP Duminy. India A made five changes to their team, leaving out Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Jaydev Unadkat, Shikhar Dhawan and Mohammed Shami.