Bawne ton puts India A in driver’s seat

Ankit Bawne cracked an impressive, unbeaten century (116 in 166 balls), while Shreyas Iyer and Parthiv Patel notched up fifties to help India-A take a 149-run lead against New Zealand- A on the second day of the four-day ‘Test’ match at Mulapadu Cricket Complex here on Sunday.

Ankit Bawne celebrates after scoring a ton in Vijaywada on Sunday.   -  V. Raju

Ankit Bawne cracked an impressive, unbeaten century (116 in 166 balls), while Shreyas Iyer and Parthiv Patel notched up fifties to help India-A take a 149-run lead against New Zealand- A on the second day of the four-day ‘Test’ match at Mulapadu Cricket Complex here on Sunday.

Resuming at its overnight score of 33 for one in reply to the visitor’s modest 211 in the first innings, India-A scored 360 for four when bad light stopped play with still 17 overs remaining.

Shreyas served another reminder of his abundance of talent with a stroke-filled 82 (79b, 10 x 4, 2 x 6). The ease with which he batted was in striking contrast to the cautious approach of Priyank Panchal, with whom he put on 133 for the second wicket.

READ: India A in command as NZ A folds for 211

Shreyas’ knock was laced some excellent strokes on either side of the wicket, with the massive six over long-on off leg-spinner Ish Sodhi. He perished when looking good for his second consecutive century here, driving the spinner uppishly only to be caught at short-covers.

India A lost Panchal and captain Karun Nair, who failed to get going despite decent starts, after the lunch break.

Then, it was 24-year-old Bawne chance to impress along with an enterprising Parthiv Patel. The former came up with the required discipline and the ability to clear the fence too - with his fourth six over mid-wicket off Sodhi seeing him celebrate the century in a style similar to that of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo’s.

At the other end, Parthiv was a picture of confidence (56 batting, 78b. 4 x 4, 1 x 6) as he had a sobering influence on the younger partner during the unbroken, 154-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Looks like, New Zealand A will have to walk the extra mile to salvage a draw.

Brief scores:

New Zealand A (First innings) 211. India A (First innings) 360-4 (Ankit Bawne batting 116, Shreyas Iyer 82, Parthiv Patel batting 56; Sodhi 2-107)