Mayank, Shaw take SA out for A ride

While Mumbai batsman Prithvi Shaw hammered 136, Mayank Agarwal — the highest run-getter for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy last season — smashed an unbeaten 220 on Day II of the four-day unofficial Test between India A and South Africa A.

Prithvi Shaw celebrates his hundred as Mayank Agarwal (left) looks on at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.   -  G.P. SAMPATH KUMAR

Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal flayed the South Africa A bowlers to put India A in a commanding position on the second day of the first unofficial Test here on Sunday.

Agarwal (220 batting, 250b, 31x4, 4x6) and Shaw (136, 196b, 20x4, 1x6) took India A to 411 for two, giving the home side a healthy lead of 165 runs.

The duo were severe on fast bowlers B. Hendricks, Duanne Olivier and Malusi Siboto, all of whom went for over four runs an over. The cover and point regions were peppered with boundaries, as Mayank and Shaw drove and cut brilliantly.

Even a sweeper-cover fielder — stationed by a helpless skipper Khaya Zondo — could not stop the flow of runs.

READ: India A in command on day one against South Africa A

The entertaining knocks ensured that India A travelled at a brisk rate. The 100 came in 18 overs, and the 200-mark arrived in just 36.1 overs. The ordinary South Africa A bowling attack looked incapable of beating the bat, let alone breaking the partnership.

Leg-spinner Shaun von Berg sought to prise out a dismissal, when shortly after lunch, he engaged in a heated verbal exchange with Shaw.

The Mumbai batsman responded with a few choice words of his own, before the umpires and Mayank intervened and made peace.

Von Berg, however, was forced to beat a hasty retreat when Mayank smacked him for a couple of fours through square-leg.

Mayank — the highest run-scorer in the Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy last season — continued his golden form. The first two deliveries that he faced were dispatched to the cover-point fence, and there was no stopping him from there. He raced to his eighth first-class hundred in 102 balls, and brought up his double with a fierce pull off Siboto.

In the last two months, which includes the India A tour of England, he has scored three List-A centuries and one First-Class double century.

Mayank and Shaw put on 277 runs for the first wicket, before Shaw was bowled through bat and pad by off-spinner Dane Piedt.

R. Samarth was sent back caught-behind for 37, before Shreyas Iyer (9 batting) and Mayank stuck around until close of play.

Brief scores: India A 411/2 (M Agarwal 220*, P Shaw 136; D Piedt 1/56) lead South Africa A 246 all out (R Second 94; M Siraj 5/56) by 165 runs on Day II