Mumbai, Feb 19:
Young batsman Shreyas Iyer pounded the Australian bowlers with his career-best unbeaten 202 before the three-day warm-up game between India A and the visitors ended in a draw here today.
Iyer, who resumed at overnight 85, completed his century in 10 minutes and put the Aussie attack, especially spinners Nathan Lyon and Stephen O’Keefe, to the sword.
Along with Krishnappa Gowtham, he shared a 138-run stand for the seventh wicket.
The 22-year-old Mumbai batsman, who has now made nine first class hundreds, punished the Australian bowlers with 27 hits to the fence and seven over the ropes, all off Lyon and O’Keefe, to remain unconquered after batting for 306 minutes.
He had also scored exactly 100 in a two-day warm-up game against Bangladesh in Hyderabad.
Gowtham made a whirlwind 74 in 68 balls smashing 10 fours and four sixes, to help the home team reply strongly to the visitors’ first innings total of 469 for seven declared..
India ‘A’ were all out for 403, conceding a lead of 66 runs to Australia, who scored 110 for four wickets in their second innings before the game ended with mutual consent.
O’Keefe (19 in 71 balls) and Matthew Wade (6) were the not out batsmen at the end.
The visitors must feel disappointed ahead of four-Test rubber commencing in Pune on February 23 with the twin failure of openers David Warner, who made 25 and 35, and Matt Renshaw (11 and 10) as well as the huge number of runs given away by spinners Lyon (4 for 162) and O’Keefe (3 for 101).
The morning’s play belonged to Iyer and Gowtham – who used the bat like a club and smashed Lyon for four huge sixes, to dent his confidence a bit ahead of the Test series opener.
Iyer remained unconquered and caught the eye with his assured stroke-play, both off spin as well as against pace.
He also bettered his 200 made in October 2015 in the Ranji game against Punjab at the nearby Wankhede Stadium. Just as he had done in the morning when racing from overnight 85 to 100 with a flurry of fours off speedster Jackson Bird, Iyer galloped from 184 to 202 with the help of four fours in one over from left-arm spinner O’Keefe before the India ‘A’ innings came to an end.
He and Gowtham stole the limelight with some brilliant batting as India ‘A’ reached 347 for 6 at lunch by adding 171 runs in just 32 overs, to the chagrin of the visitors.
The home team lost two wickets before Gowtham, who was unable to bowl in the Australia innings due to a hamstring injury, hammered off spinner Lyon for four sixes on way to his half century off just 43 balls. (PTI)