Pat Cummins    Getty Images
Pat Cummins Getty Images

Pat Cummins led a spirited lower-order batting performance to earn the touring Australians a 109-run first-innings lead on the second day of a three-day match against South Africa A at Willowmoore Park on Friday. Cummins, batting at number eight, made an unbeaten 59 to carry the Australians to a total of 329 in reply to South Africa A’s 220. The hosts were 55 for no wicket in their second innings when bad light ended play early.

Head coach Darren Lehmann, who joined the tour on Thursday afternoon after overseeing Australia’s Twenty20 team in a triangular series in New Zealand, watched a patchy batting performance in the only warm-up match before the first Test starting in Durban on Thursday.

Opener Cameron Bancroft, who laboured for more than three hours to score 45, was the only one of the first seven batsmen to reach 30. Five top-order batsmen were dismissed in the twenties.

Cummins, who took four for 32 in South Africa’s first innings on Thursday, hit 11 fours in a 95-ball innings. The tourists lost their eighth wicket on 225, only five runs ahead, before Cummins shared a rapid ninth-wicket stand of 64 with Nathan Lyon (38) and a tenth wicket partnership of 40 with Josh Hazlewood (26).

Cummins and Lyon attacked the home team’s spin bowlers in the ten overs before the second new ball was taken. Left-arm opening bowler Beuran Hendricks took five for 83 for South Africa A.