Iyer, Bawne shine in rain-hit draw

India A clinched the two-match series against South Africa A being 1-0 up in the tournament as heavy showers wiped out the final session of play on Day 4 of the second Test.

India A captain Shreyas Iyer added 86 runs for the fourth wicket with Ankit Bawne as a rain-hit match ended with India A leading by 207 runs.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

When India A skipper Shreyas Iyer cleared the fence, for the second time, after reaching his half-century, it seemed he would declare the innings after attaining a 200 run-lead and unleash the seamers on South Africa A in the remaining overs of the day.

Gaining assistance from the overcast conditions over four days, Mohammed Siraj, Ankit Rajpoot, Duanne Olivier — all have been among wickets.  But all such thoughts were laid to rest when heavy showers wiped out the last session of play at the Platinum Oval here on Monday.  Being 1-0 up, India A clinched the series as the second Test ended in a draw.

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In the rain-hit day, Iyer snatched a bit of match practice with Ankit Bawne. The duo added 86 runs for the fourth wicket before Iyer — 65 off 103 balls; four fours, four sixes — was caught and bowled by Senuran Muthusamy in the 36th over.

Bawne remained not out on 64 off 100 balls (nine fours) with K.S. Bharat (18 off 45 balls; one four and a six). In the morning session, the South Africans lost their remaining three wickets under seven overs. Siraj and Rajpoot cleaned up the tail.

But the thrill hadn't fully gone, as India lost three wickets for 55 runs at lunch. Olivier sent Prithvi Shaw's (4 off 10 balls) middle-stump cartwheeling in his second over. Mayank Agarwal, who was out for a duck in the first innings, executed a few classy shots in his 44-ball 28; four fours. He was a victim of a quick Muthusamy delivery that kept low and kissed his stumps.

Hanuma Vihari, who steered India to 345 on the back of a marathon innings — 148 runs in 413 minutes — didn’t disturb the scorers. Olivier trapped him in front of the wicket. At stumps, the Indians were ahead by 207 runs.

Brief scores:

India A - 345 & 181/4 (S Iyer 65, A Bawne 64*; D Olivier 2/24, S Muthusamy 2/45);

South Africa A - 319 (Z Hamza 93, S Erwee 58; M Siraj 4/72, A Rajpoot 3/52. Match drawn