Board President’s XI vs South Africa: Rohit Sharma disappoints as opener, match ends in draw

The focus was on Rohit Sharma when he went out to open the innings. But, South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander produced a beauty to make him look the other way.

Rohit Sharma fell for a two-ball duck.   -  afp

The focus was on Board President's XI captain Rohit Sharma when he went out to open the innings. But, South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander produced a beauty to make him look the other way with a second-ball duck on the final day of the three-day warm-up game on Saturday.

Rohit leaned forward for a tentative drive only to edge to substitute wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen in the second over of the innings.

The pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander made the pitch look completely different with some high-quality bowling combining pace, swing and bounce.

Later, Mayank Agarwal showed intent to play a long innings, but eventually perished going for a slog off left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj only to be caught in the deep.

However, Priyank Panchal combined grit and some decent strokes to score a half-century (60, 77b, 10x4).Wicketkeeper-batsman Srikar Bharat enhanced his reputation with a belligerent 71(57b, 7x4, 5x6) including three sixes and a four off Dane Piedt over.

Bharat and Siddesh Lad, who also completed a well-compiled half-century (52 not out, 89b, 7x4, 1x6), put on 100 runs for the sixth wicket in 20 overs.

Eventually, President's XI finished on 265 for eight as the match ended in a draw.

Bavuma shines through

Earlier, Temba Bavuma continued to impress with some beautiful stroke play to score an unbeaten 87 (127b, 14x4, 1x6) in the morning session. This knock might well serve a reminder that this diminutive, classy batsman will be a force to reckon with in the Test series.

There was a touch of authority to the way Bavuma whipped fast bowler Umesh Yadav to the fence and then hooked him nonchalantly for a six.

But strangely, South Africa opted for a declaration with Bavuma looking good for a century. There were animated gestures from him to the dressing room but soon he walked back, missing the opportunity of going into the first Test on the back of a well-deserved century.

For President's XI, left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja was the most successful bowler with a three-wicket haul.

South Africa - 1st innings: Aiden Markram retd hurt 100, Dean Elgar c Panchal b Umesh Yadav 6, Theunis de Bruyn lbw b Ishan Porel 6, Zubayr Hamza lbw b D. Jadeja 22, Temba Bavuma not out 87, Faf du Plessis lbw b D. Jadeja 9, Vernon Philander c Rohit b Jadeja 48.

Board President's XI - 1st innings: Mayank Agarwal c Philander b Maharaj 39,  Rohit Sharma c (sub) Klaassen b Philander 0, Abhimanyu Easwaran c Markram b Rabada 13, Priyank Panchal c du Plessis b Philander 60, Karun Nair c (sub) Klaassen b Maharaj 71, Siddesh Lad not out 52, Srikar Bharat b Maharaj 71, Jalaj Saxena lbw b Muthusamy 2, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja c (sub) Klassen b Piedt 0.

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