Kapil and Russell shine against Proteas
South Africa were frustrated by a splendid half-century from Worcestershire’s England Under-19 all-rounder Aneesh Kapil as their two-day match at New Road ended in a draw.
The talented youngster struck 67 from 80 balls before his side were dismissed for 245 - giving them a slender first-innings advantage of eight runs.
Left-arm spinner Robin Peterson finished with 4-65 and by the close the tourists had limped to 67 for four with Worcestershire paceman Chris Russell taking 3-32.
For 18-year-old Wolverhampton-born Kapil it was a memorable knock against visitors who were given a valuable sun-soaked workout ahead of their second Investec Test against England at Headingley Carnegie, which starts on Thursday.
Kapil, in England’s 15-man squad for next month's ICC Under-19 World Cup in Australia, is highly rated at Worcestershire where his highest first-class score is 54 - made on debut against Sussex at Horsham last year.
The hosts, who resumed on 70 for three in reply to the tourists’ first-innings total of 237 for nine declared, produced a gritty performance today.
Matthew Pardoe took his overnight score of 40 to 53 before he fell, ending a defiant 174-minute innings which included eight fours off 117 balls.
The hosts lost Neil Pinner before Pardoe was snapped up low down by wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile off an edge against Lowanbo Tsotsobe.
Young all-rounder Joe Leach, making his debut for Worcestershire, was bowled by Morne Morkel for 16 before the hosts reached lunch on 139 for six.
Kapil, who played for England Under-19s against their Ireland counterparts at Leicester earlier this month, wasted little time after the interval to reach his half-century with 10 fours off 44 balls.
He finally departed when he was bowled leg stump trying to play an off-drive against Peterson, who followed up shortly afterwards by removing Ben Scott, for a useful 33, and David Lucas in successive deliveries.
Last pair Richard Jones and Russell then joined forces to top up Worcestershire’s tally, which overtook the tourists' first-innings total in the 72nd over. Peterson ended their 29-run partnership by adding Jones to his haul.
South Africa’s second innings got off to an uncomfortable start as Russell continued to celebrate his first senior appearance for two years by removing Alviro Petersen, JP Duminy and Dale Steyn.