CricketUnofficial Test series ends in a draw
─── 08:07 Fri, 10 Dec 2021
Zubayr Hamza scored his 27th first-class century to propel South Africa A to a competitive second innings score, setting India A a target of 304 runs to win before rain brought an end to the day’s play and the series, in the match in Bloemfontein.
The result at the Mangaung Oval means the unofficial Test series ended in a draw after the two sides were inseparable over the three matches played.
Resuming day four in a strong position, on 196/1, with top-order batters, Hamza and Sarel Erwee (97 off 215 runs; 10 fours, 1 six) at the crease, SA A continued where they left off. The pair added 25 runs to the overnight total, taking their second wicket stand to an impressive 178 runs before Erwee fell agonizingly close to a deserved hundred.
In another notable partnership, Hamza went one step further than his previous partner to reach the three-figure milestone, combining for a 66-run stand with Tony de Zorzi (33) before India A’s Krishnappa Gowtham (2/ 81) removed the latter to pick up his second scalp of the morning to leave the hosts on 287/3.
With a commanding lead on the scoreboard, SA A declared soon after surpassing the 300-run mark as Hamza finished the innings unbeaten on 125* off 192 deliveries (15 fours) with the best part of two sessions remaining for the home side to attempt to win the game.
Despite making a solid start to the 304-run chase, India A were pegged back on three occasions by the SA A bowlers, with Senuran Muthusamy (1/ 8), Migael Pretorius (1/16) and Lutho Sipamla (1/30) picking up wickets to give the home side a glimpse of gaining a result.
Those hopes were dashed soon after the tea break when the heavens opened over the Bloemfontein stadium, with India A stranded on 90/3, still 214 runs short of the target as the two captains shook hands to confirm the drawn match.
At the end of the game, South African duo of Sipamla and Erwee were awarded the Player of the Match and Player of the Series accolades, respectively, after impressive displays for the hosts.
Latest Score – Day 4
South Africa A: 268 & 311/ 3 dec; Z. Hamza 125* (192), S. Erwee 97 (215); K. Gowtham 2/ 81, N. Saini 1/49
India A: 276 & 90/3 after 17 overs; P. Shaw 38 (34), A. Easwaran 19 (25); S. Muthusamy 1/ 8, M. Pretorius 1/16.