Krishgiri, Aug 20: India A face a daunting task on the fourth and fil day's play after the hosts, chasing a mammoth target of 444, were struggling at 73/2 in their second innings at stumps on Day 3 of their first four-day cricket match against South Africa A at the Krishgiri Stadium here on Thursday.
Opener Abhiv Mukund (32 not out) and skipper Ambati Rayudu (13 not out) remained unbeaten. They need another 371 runs with eight wickets in hand on Friday.
Resuming the day at 122/3 in the first innings, India A hoped to get somewhat close to South Africa A's massive first innings total of 542. But some outstanding all-round bowling by the visitors in the first two sessions of the day helped them bundle out India A for 204 runs.
Earlier, Omphile Ramela (121) and Quinton de Kock (113) helped the visitors cross the 500-run mark.
Shreyas Iyer (49) and skipper Ambati Rayudu (46) were the top scorers for India A in the first innings. In total, only six players maged to score double digit figures. Wickets fell at regular intervals as South Africa A's slower bowlers took the best advantage to bundle out India A and keep a handsome first innings lead.
Right-arm spinner Dane Piedt made the best use of the conditions as he returned with figures of 5/88. Keshav Maharaj (2/13) supported him well.
Openers Reeza Hendricks (61) and Stiaan van Zyl (38 not out) put on a quick fire 95-run partnership for the first wicket as the visitors declared their second innings at 105/1 and thus set India a challenging 444-run target.
Brief scores: South Africa A 542 & 105/1 declared (Reeza Hendricks 61, Stiaan van Zyl 38 not out) vs India A 204 (Shreyas Iyer 49, Ambati Rayudu 46; Dane Piedt 5/88, Keshav Maharaj 2/13) & 73/2 in 29 overs (Abhiv Mukund 32 not out). IANS