Mumbai, Oct 30 (IANS) A much improved batting performance by Board President XI batsmen guided them to 208/5 in 56 overs at tea against the South Africans on the opening day of their two-day practice match at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.
Naman Ojha (47 batting) and Sheldon Jackson (15 batting) were at the crease when tea was called.
For the visitors, Dale Steyn (2/36) and Vernon Philander (2/36) were the pick of the bowlers.
Starting the proceedings post lunch from 100/3, Rahul (72) and Nair (44) batted cautiously to notch up a 105-run partnership for the fourth wicket in just 150 balls.
Nair, who had struck nine boundaries, was caught behind as Vernon Philander found his outside edge in the 34th over. He returned to the pavilion six runs short of a well deserved half-century.
The dismissal at the other end did not bother opener Rahul as he went on scoring freely against both pacers and spinners. With 13 boundaries to his credit, the talented young batsman brought up his half-century in 92 balls.
Incoming batsman Naman Ojha too gave him good support by sneaking regular singles along with the occasional boundaries.
But a bowling change by visitors’ skipper Hashim Amla worked wonders, as off-spinner Simon Harmer got the much needed breakthrough by dismissing Rahul.
Rahul had attempted a sweep, but only managed a top edge which carried comfortably to Faf du Plessis at short fine leg. The hosts’ score was 155/5 at that point.
Incoming batsman Sheldon Jackson looked in good nick as he played some attacking shots while partnering Ojha to take the team’s score past the 200-run mark in the 54th over.
The duo brought up their 50-run partnership in 80 balls.