Eyeing a senior national team return, Hanuma Vihari found some runs as India A reached 198 for five at stumps against South Africa A on the second day of the second unofficial Test here on Wednesday.
Vihari was batting on 45 at the close of play, having found the fence six times while facing 146 balls. India A trailed by 99 runs with half their side remaining.
After bowling out the South Africans for 297, the visitors got a good start with skipper Priyank Panchal (24) and his opening partner Prithvi Shaw (42) adding 57 runs for the first wicket. Pacer Glenton Stuurman gave the hosts their first breakthrough when he had Panchal caught by Sarel Erwee.
Abhimanyu Easwaran was out first ball, dismissed by Stuurman, the golden duck paving the way for Vihari's arrival at the crease. While Vihari got into the groove, Shaw fell after a well-made 42 off 54 balls, for which he struck six boundaries. The Mumbai player was dismissed by pacer Lutho Sipamla to leave the visitors at 69 for three.
Baba Aparajith, too, failed to open his account, lasting just seven balls before fast bowler Marco Jansen had the batter caught behind as India A slumped to 76 for four. However, Vihari found an able ally in dashing wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan (49 off 71 balls) as the duo added 78 runs for the fifth wicket before the latter was sent back by Jansen just one short of his half century.
In came Sarfaraz Khan and he also played positively to remain unbeaten on a 51-ball 30 when play was called off earlier than the scheduled time owing to bad light.
Earlier, resuming on 233 for seven, South Africa were restricted to within 300, with Navdeep Saini (3/67) and Ishan Porel (3/49) doing the bulk of the damage. Coming in to bat at number eight, Jansen top-scored in the home team's first innings with an unbeaten 70 off 123 balls.
South Africa A: 297 all out in 105.5 overs (Marco Jansen 70 not out, George Linde 44; Ishan Porel 3/49, Navdeep Saini 3/67).
India A: 198/5 in 59 overs (Hanuma Vihari 45 batting, Prithvi Shaw 42, Ishan Kishan 49).