Bawne: ‘Disappointed that I missed the hundred’

India A batsman Ankit Bawne, who held the middle-order along with Hanuma Vihari on Day I of the second Test against SA A on Day I, says the plan was to bat out the seamers.

Ankit Bawane plays a shot during India A's second 'Test' against South Africa 'A' in Alur on Friday.   -  Sampath Kumar G.P.

When Ankit Bawne walked into the middle on Day I of the second Test against South Africa A at the Platinum Oval here, India A — struggling at 80/3 — needed a flamboyant stroke-player to balance the anchor in Hanuma Vihari.

Bawne knew his job. The duo stitched a 177-run stand for the fourth wicket to end the day on a high, 322 for the loss of four tickets.

The Maharashtra batsman, however, is upset to have not converted his effort into three figures. “The time I went into bat, we badly needed a partnership. I think mine and Hanuma’s partnership was very crucial. The fast bowlers were bowling really well. I was leaving the ball very well at the start. As a Test batsman, you have to check the line and leave the ball.

“I am very disappointed to miss the hundred. I think I lost my temper a bit. It happens in the game. I wanted to get a hundred early before the new ball came. I thought I will whack a few and get to my hundred," he told reporters after the end of day's play.

The Proteas bowlers stuck to their length and generated a bit of swing in the first hour, thanks to the overcast conditions.

“The outfield is very slow here. I think they were bowling in good areas and it wasn't easy. They had plans for this game. There were a lot of twos and threes because of the slow outfield.

“We have been playing together for quite some time and we knew our job was to play out the sessions. With the moving ball, we had to play out the overs and wait for the spinners to come, to score runs,” added Bawne, who was dismissed for 80.

South Africa speedster Duanne Olivier agreed that the conditions were in his team’s favour in the first half. “We really bowled well as a unit. But India batted very well in the second session. It was overcast and we applied ourselves really well,” said Olivier.

“As a bowling unit, our execution wasn't great in the first Test. They are 1-0 up and we knew we had to bowl well in each session. The ball was swinging a lot upfront but during the day, it was slow. But given the conditions, Vihari batted beautifully though he started slow,” he added.