India A v Australia: Shreyas's double ton lights up final day

Shreyas Iyer, in the company of K. Gowtham, shredded the Australian spinners, especially Nathan Lyon, possibly denting their confidence ahead of the first Test in Pune.

Published : Feb 19, 2017 18:53 IST

Shreyas Iyer's unbeaten double hundred included 27 fours and seven sixes.
Shreyas Iyer's unbeaten double hundred included 27 fours and seven sixes.

Shreyas Iyer's unbeaten double hundred included 27 fours and seven sixes.

Shreyas Iyer (202 not out off 210 balls) continued to pile the misery on the Australian bowlers, especially Nathan Lyon even though he picked up a four-wicket haul on the last day of the warm-up game. As if Iyer's dominating double hundred wasn't enough, K. Gowtham joined the party with a 68-ball 74 to dent Lyon and company's confidence going into the opening Test in Pune in four days.

Iyer, starting the day on 85, raced to his second successive hundred against a touring team with a full-blooded straight drive off Jackson Bird. Soon after he saw Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan perish.

While Pant checked his drive against Stephen O'Keefe that resulted in an easy return catch for the left-arm spinner, Kishan poked at one from Mitchell Marsh that slightly jagged away from him.

At 234 for six, the Australians sensed that their batsmen can spend more time in the middle in their second innings. However, Iyer got an ally in Gowtham, the off-spinner who couldn't bowl on the first two days after pulling his hamstring while fielding on Friday. In fact, such was Gowtham's panache while playing spin that he outscored Iyer during their 138-run partnership.

Gowtham, limping because of a hurt right-leg, took a toll on the Aussie spinners, especially Lyon.

Iyer started the onslaught once Lyon changed ends for his second spell in the morning with a six over mid-wicket followed by two crisply cut fours. In the next over, Gowtham mistimed one and Glenn Maxwell dropped a skier with the sun staring into his shades at mid-wicket.

Gowtham, then, played as fluently as a specialist batsman. His footwork against spin was impressive. At times when he couldn't reach for the lofted shots with the spin, he adjusted to loft it over mid-off. Such was the onslaught of Iyer and Gowtham that Lyon's second spell read 6-0-57-0, with the duo having pounded the lead Australian spinner for five fours and as many sixes in the spell.

O'Keefe finally got one to break through Gowtham's defence to break the partnership. Iyer, then, cut loose with another 18-run over off Lyon to complete his second first-class double century with a six over mid-wicket.

The Australians then preferred to give opportunities to the batsmen who couldn't spend some time in the middle in the first essay before both the teams shook hands four overs into the last hour.

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