Keegan Petersen showed off his Test credentials with a superb unbeaten 112 off just 134 (10x4, 5x6) and along with spinner Dane Piedt have set up South Africa “A” chances of levelling the series against West Indies heading into the final day at Buffalo Park in East London.
The hosts were already in a commanding position at the start of the third day with a lead of 209 runs and nine second innings wickets still intact.
Overnight batter Tony de Zorzi was the first wicket to fall with the left-hander departing for 37. The talented Western Province left-hander would be disappointed that he has not converted either of his two starts in this match after also scoring 44 in the first innings.
But De Zorzi’s dismissal brought Petersen to the crease and the classy right-hander from Paarl immediately got stuck into his work.
He formed a solid 64-run partnership with the talented Rynand van Tonder, who also brought up his second half-century of the match before mistiming a short delivery from Jair McAllister onto his stumps to head back to the pavilion for 56 off 74 balls (5x4, 1x6).
Petersen, though, found another able partner in Khaya Zondo with the pair stretching South Africa A’s lead even further. Both batters played freely either side of the wicket as the Windies attack toiled with Petersen bringing up his 18th career first-class century in the process.
Unfortunately for Zondo, he fell one run of his personal milestone after being caught by Abhijai Mansingh off Kavem Hodge for 49. The pair had added 101 runs for the fourth wicket.
Ruan de Swardt added a quick fire 29 not out off 37 balls (3x4, 1x6) in tandem with Petersen that allowed South Africa A to declare on 297/4, which left the Windies with a 442-run target for victory.
The tourists’ run-chase began poorly when Test opener Tangenarine Chandepaul was caught behind off De Swardt without scoring.
Fellow Zachary McCaskie though tried to keep the Windies innings together with a patient 50 (90 balls), but Piedt kept chipping away with the wickets of Kirk McKenzie (17), McCaskie and Joshua Da Silva (5).
With Tshepo Moreki also dismissing Hodge (22), South Africa A were firmly in the driving seat needing only five wickets today with the Windies in all sorts of trouble at 134/5.
South Afrida A: 298/10 (Petersen 64, Van Tonder 50, Jordan 3/47, Joseph 3/57)
West Indies A: 154/10 (McCaskie 62, Hodge 25, Piedt 5/28, Moreki 3/66)
South Africa A: 297/4 (Petersen 112, Van Tonder 56, Zondo 49)
West Indies A: 134/5 (McCaskie 50, Piedt 3/57)