This was definitely a wonderful bowling performance by left arm Indian bowler Axar Patel as the South Africa ‘A’ second innings could last for just two hours and two minutes, as India ‘A’ scaled a very memorable win in the second unofficial Test at the Wayanad Cricket Stadium with their overall glorious gameplay.
The Indians won by an innings and 81 runs, after bowling the visiting side out for 76. With this feat, they have also won the series 1-0; as the opening Test was ended in a draw last week. The South African batsmen failed miserably to provide resistance against a varied spin attack on the fourth day of a track that proved favorable for the attacking Indian bowlers. No doubt that the wicket was difficult to bat, but perhaps the South Indian batsmen had lost their confidence and their morale was visibly low, in comparison to their talent.
Mainly, four Indian spinners had given them a tough time. But primarily, it was left-armer Axar Patel who led the spin attack, as he finished with marvelous figures of four wickets for no runs from six overs. This particular stunning performance gave him match figures of nine for 92, apart from the unbeaten 69 he scored in the only Indian innings. Obviously he was the only choice for the Man-of-the-Match award; he was also the Man-of-the-Series, having taken five wickets in the first game.
On Friday his bowling was so good and was being so very fruitfully used by skipper Ambati Rayudu, who rotated his spinners around so effectively, that you would expect him to take wicket in every over; and he obliged, almost all the time.
Another Indian, off-spinner Jayant Yadav also bowled impressively by picking up two wickets. Remaining Indian bowlers leg-spinner Karn Sharma, off-spinner B. Aparajith and seamer Shardul Thakur, shared a wicket each among them. It was delightful to see bowling of seamer Thakur who moved and bounced the ball enough to get noticed even in the great spin show.
But this event will always be remembered for the magnificent bowling spell of Axar Patel.
South Africa ‘A’ — 1st innings: 260.
India ‘A’ — 1st innings: Jiwanjot Singh c Vilas b Tsotsobe 52, Abhinav Mukund lbw b Piedt 72, B. Aparajith c Ramela b Piedt 34, Sheldon Jackson b Piedt 25, A. Rayudu c Bavuma b Piedt 71, Vijay Shankar c Vilas b Tsotsobe 21, Ankush Bains c Reeza Hendricks b Viljoen 35, Axar Patel (not out) 69, Jayant Yadav b Piedt 0, Karn Sharma (not out) 19; Extras (b-14, lb-3, nb-2): 19; Total (for eight wkts. decl. in 110 overs): 417.
Fall of wickets: 1-96, 2-168, 3-169, 4-224, 5-253, 6-309, 7-347, 8-348.
South Africa ‘A’ bowling: Tsotsobe 22-6-52-2, Viljoen 27-7-89-1, Bueran Hendricks 3-0-11-0, Piedt 45-4-191-5, van Zyl 11-2-33-0, Ramela 1-0-15-0, de Kock 1-0-9-0.
South Africa ‘A’ — 2nd innings: Reeza Hendricks b Axar 1, Stiaan van Zyl b Jayant 10, Gihahn Cloete c Bains b Thakur 4, Omphile Ramela c Vijay b Aparajith 7, Tema Bavuma b Axar 3, Quinton de Kock c Abhinav b Jayant 20, Dane Vilas c Rayudu b Axar 3, Dane Piedt c Vijay b Axar 5, Hardus Viljoen (not out) 9, Lonwabo Tsotsobe lbw b Karn 0, Bueran Hendricks (absent hurt); Extras (b-11, lb-2, nb-1): 14; Total (in 31.4 overs): 76.
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-20, 3-23, 4-33, 5-43, 6-48, 7-62, 8-67, 9-76.
India ‘A’ bowling: Thakur 8-2-20-1, Jayant 10-5-10-2, Axar 6-6-0-4, Karn 3.4-1-16-1, Aparajith 4-0-17-1.
Man-of-the-match & series: Axar Patel.