Vihari shines but second unofficial India 'A' vs South Africa 'A' Test ends in a draw

The second four-day match between South Africa A and India A finished in a draw after an interesting fourth and final day at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Friday, when terrible light put an end to the visitors’ bid for victory. At the outset of day four, the hosts could only add 96 runs to their second-inning total, but late-inning runs from Marco Jansen (28) and Glenton Stuurman (26) helped the hosts to 212 all out and a 233-run lead.

Ishan Porel, an impressive medium-pacer who led the way with the ball in hand for the touring team, concluded with match figures of six for 82 runs. India A, needing 234 to win, experienced two early losses at the hands of the in-form Stuurman, who built on promising first innings in which he picked up his 200th First Class scalp by dismissing openers Prithvi Shaw (18) and Priyank Panchal (18). (0).

Those wickets brought Abhimanyu Easwaran (55 off 117 balls; 7 fours) and Hanuma Vihari (72* off 116 balls; 12 fours) to the crease, and the pair made an immediate impact with a 133-run partnership to give the away side hope as the end of the day’s play approached.

India A ran out of time as the sun fell on the Mangaung Oval, still needing 79 runs to win, as the players left the field owing to poor lighting before the game was officially proclaimed a draw, tying the series at one game apiece. Stuurman finished the match with a seven-wicket haul for 99 runs, while India’s Vihari was named Player of the Match for his outstanding batting performances throughout the game. As the morning session of the second day continued to maintain the tone set on the first day, Ajaz Patel kept New Zealand in the Test, while Mayank Agarwal kept India slightly ahead. Agarwal had moved from 120 overnight to 146 at lunch, with Axar Patel batting on 32. Ajaz was New Zealand’s only wicket-taker, with all six wickets falling to him.