Sport / Cricket

Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
1 minute read
24 Nov 2021
7:28 am

Solid start for South Africa A on day one against India A

Ross Roche

De Zorzi and Malan combined in an impressive partnership, powering SA A into a strong position after tea.

Pieter Malan made an unbeaten century for South Africa A on the opening day of their clash against India A. Picture: Gallo Images

Centuries from Pieter Malan and Tony de Zorzi helped the South Africa A team dominate India A on day one of their four-day clash at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, reaching 343/3 at the close of play.

Opener Malan stroked his way to an impressive unbeaten 157 off 258 deliveries, striking 18 fours, as he batted through the day, sharing a big 217-run third wicket stand with De Zorzi, who struck 117 off 186 balls (18×4).

Batting first, SA A found themselves in early trouble as opener Sarel Erwee fell in the first over, caught by Krishnappa Gowtham off the bowling of Navdeep Saini for a third-ball duck.

New man Raynard van Tonder soon followed Erwee back to the dugout in the fourth over as he was trapped LBW by Arzan Nagwaswalla for a ninth-ball duck, leaving his side in a spot of bother on 14/2.

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This then brought De Zorzi to the crease, and along with Malan, they set about their impressive partnership to power SA A into a strong position after tea.

India A then finally made the breakthrough after De Zorzi had reached a deserved century, as he was bowled by Umran Malik with the score at 231/4.

Malan, however, then found another willing partner in Jason Smith, (51 not out) and they combined for an unbroken 112-run fourth-wicket stand to take SA A to the close in a very strong position.

The hosts will now look to pick up where they left off on the second morning on Wednesday, and power themselves to a big first innings total to give their bowlers a solid target to defend.