Mumbai, Oct 30 (IANS) After a sloppy start, batsmen Lokesh Rahul and Karun Nair held on to guide the Board President XI to 100/3 in 27 overs by lunch against the South Africans on the opening day of their two-day practice match at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.
Rahul (39 batting) and Nair (36 batting) were at the crease when lunch was called. For the visitors, Dale Steyn (2/13) and Vernon Philander (1/22) were the pick of the bowlers.
Opting to bat first, opener Unmukt Chand (4) started the proceedings with a boundary off the third ball of the first over. But a superb delivery by Steyn just two balls later totally fooled the batsman.
An outside edge off Chand’s bat went straight to Hashim Amla at first slip to put the hosts down at 4/1 inside the very first over. The batting side suffered their second blow when skipper Cheteshwar Pujara (5) was caught by Stiaan van Zyl at gully while trying to guide the ball to third man.
The South African pace attack, comprising Steyn, Philander, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada, continued to put a lot of pressure on the young Board President’s line-up.
The hosts found it tough to handle the pace and swing of the experienced Proteas bowlers. After Pujara, incoming batsman Shreyas Iyer (9) too fell after edging the ball to wicketkeeper Dane Vilas off the bowling of Steyn.
The Board President XI were struggling at 27/3 after 8.3 overs. After three quick wickets, incoming batsman Nair and Rahul held on firmly at the crease. They managed to sneak out the ones and twos along with the occasional boundary to take the teama’s score to the 100-run mark. The duo brought up the 50-run partnership for the fourth wicket in 87 balls.