Despite the best efforts of South Africa’s A-team spinners, India A held out for a draw in the first unofficial Test in Wayanad on Friday.
The hosts dug deep after starting the day on 73-2, facing a target of 444, and after losing captain Ambati Rayudu 12 overs into the day, the second victim of Keshav Maharaj.
But Abhinav Mukund, who was on 32 overnight, settled in well with Karun Nair to put on 67 for the fourth wicket at a sensible 2.9 an over. Dane Piedt, hero of the first innings with 5-85 finally broke that stand in the 42nd over, but that was as good as it got.
Nair found his rhythm to canter to his hundred at a strike rate of just on 60, his fifth first-class ton in 23 matches. He was well supported by Vijay Shankar (74, off 112 balls) and at one stage they were racing along at 3.56. But the target was always going to be one step ahead, and the game was called off with 14 overs remaining. Piedt had bowled 43 (1-125) and Maharaj 36 (2-79) of the 107 overs sent down in that last innings.
With India A on 309 and no possibility of a result, it was time for a handshake.
The second and final unofficial Test begins on Tuesday, Aug 25