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Youth Test Cricket: Parsons takes six for while Divyaansh Saxena scores ton

Divyaansh Saxena
Divyaansh Saxena celebrates his maiden Youth Test century on Day 2 in first of two matches against the Coca-Cola South Africa U19s. (Image: CSA)

Bryce Parsons claimed an impressive six-wicket haul for the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s but Divyaansh Saxena shone with a century to hand India the advantage at the end of Day Two in the opening Youth Test match in Trivandrum on Thursday. The hosts take a 99-run lead going into the penultimate day.

Continuing from where he left off on the first day, Divyaansh Saxena notched up his maiden hundred, recording 122 off 224 deliveries (12 fours, 1 six). This helped India U19s to a healthy 133-run, first-innings lead after they were dismissed for 330 from 92.3 overs.

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The left-hander, Divyaansh Saxena, began the day’s play unbeaten on 44 with a new partner at the crease when Yashasvi Jaiswal was dismissed on the final ball of day one. Saxena and captain Suraj Ahuja, shared a 59-run partnership for the fourth wicket, both batsmen reaching their respective fifties.

The breakthrough came from Parsons, who added to his single overnight wicket by removing Ahuja for 57 (off 78 balls, 7 fours, 1 six), leaving home side 200/4 after 47 overs, with a three-run lead at lunch.

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After the interval, South Africa struck two crucial blows. Marco Jansen (2/58) picked up the wicket of Vaibhav Kandpal for 11 following a superb spell of built-up pressure from the tall fast bowler. Dangerman Saxena added a further 39 runs with Manav Suthar for the sixth wicket. The 18-year old raised his bat for a fine century before he was eventually thwarted by the in-form Parsons to leave India on 262/6 and leading by 65 runs.

Sensing the shift in momentum, the visitors displayed great courage in the tough subcontinent conditions. The Parsons-led attack maintained their foothold in the game by taking a further three wickets for just 23 runs. Parsons removed Suthar (17) and Anshul Kamboj (6) to claim his maiden five-wicket haul in Youth Test cricket before Lifa Ntanzi (2/56) came back into the attack to trap Hrithik Shokeen leg-before, leaving the home side on 303/9.

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Coming in at number ten, Rajvardhan Hangargekar smashed 41 runs off just 26 balls, including eight fours to propel his side to 330 all out. Parsons took the final wicket to end with impressive figures of 6/77 in his 25.3 overs.

With a good lead on the board, India began in the best way possible. Opening bowlers, Kamboj (2/7) and Hangargekar (1/15) snatched three quick wickets between them to leave the tourists reeling on 7/3 in the first five overs. Thamsanqa Kumalo (0), Jonathan Bird (2) and captain Matthew Montgomery (5) all fell to the seamers’ notable exploits with the bal to give the India U19s the edge in the match.

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Andile Mogakane (16*) and Bonga Makaka (11*) held their nerve to see out the rest of day’s action and steer South Africa to 34/3 after 15 overs at the close of play, still trailing by 99 runs.

Day Three will start from 09h30 local time (06h00) on Friday, 22 February. Player of the day was a toss between Bryce Parsons and Divyaansh Saxena.

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