Thiruvananthapuram: A brilliant knock of 122 by left-handed opener Diyansh Saxena put India U-19 team in a command position against South Africa on the second day of the first 'Youth' Test here Thursday.
The home team made 330 all out in 92.3 overs in reply to South Africa's 197 and prised out three wickets to gain the upperhand at stumps.
The visitors closed the day's play at 34 for 3 in 15 overs having lost the openers and captain Matthew Montgomery.
Resuming at 95 for 3, India U-19 took the lead without suffering any losses as Saxena (44 overnight) forged a big partnership with captain Suraj Ahuja, who came up with a well-made 57 (78 balls, 7X4, 1X6).
Saxena got better as the innings progressed as he hit some delightful shots and hammered a six while Ahuja too batted impressively.
The partnership ended when Ahuja was dismissed by Bryce Parsons, who finished with impressive figures of 6 for 77 with his slow-left arm spin.
To South Africa's credit, they didn't allow the Rahul Dravid-coached India U-19s to run away with things as the bowlers struck at regular intervals to dismiss the host for 330 and limit the lead to 133.
In the second innings, the visiting team started disastrously and slipped to 7 for 3 with Anshul Kamboj taking two wickets including that of skipper Matthew Montgomery (5), before Andile Mokgakane (16 batting) and Bonga Makhakha (11 batting) stemmed the rot and ended the day at 34 for 3, still trailing by 99 runs.
Rajvardhan Hangargekar took the other wicket to fall.
Brief scores: South Africa U-19 197 (Bryce Parsons 58, Matthew Montgomery 57, Hrithik Shokeen 4 for 50) and 34 for 3 vs India U-19 330 all out in 92.3 overs (Divyansh Saxena 122, Suraj Ahuja 57, Bryce Parsons 6 for 77).
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