The focus was on Board President’s XI captain Rohit Sharma when he went out to open the innings. But South African fast bowler Vernon Philander produced a beauty to make him look the other way with a second-ball duck on the final day of the three-day warm-up game, which ended in a draw here on Saturday.
Rohit leaned forward for a tentative drive, only to edge to substitute wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen in the second over of the innings.
The pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander made the pitch look completely different with some high-quality bowling, combining pace, swing and bounce.
Later, Mayank Agarwal showed intent to play a long innings, but eventually perished going for a slog off left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj only to be caught in the deep.
However, Priyank Panchal showed grit and playe some decent strokes to score 60 (77b, 10×4).Wicketkeeper-batsman Srikar Bharat enhanced his reputation with a belligerent 71 (57b, 7×4, 5×6) including three sixes and a four off a Dane Piedt over.
Bharat and Siddesh Lad, who also completed a well-compiled unbeaten 52 (89b, 7×4, 1×6), put on 100 for the sixth wicket in 20 overs.
Eventually, Board President’s XI finished on 265 for eight.
Bavuma shines through
Temba Bavuma continued to impress with some beautiful strokeplay during an unbeaten 87 (127b, 14×4, 1×6) in the morning session. This knock might well serve a reminder that this diminutive, classy batsman will be a force to reckon with in the Test series.
There was a touch of authority in the way Bavuma whipped fast bowler Umesh Yadav to the fence and then hooked him nonchalantly for a six.
But strangely, South Africa opted for a declaration with Bavuma looking good for a century. There were animated gestures from him to the dressing room but soon he walked back, missing the opportunity of going into the first Test on the back of a well-deserved three-figure knock.
For Board President’s XI, left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja was the most successful bowler with a three-wicket haul.
South Africa — 1st innings: Aiden Markram (retd. hurt) 100, Dean Elgar c Panchal b Umesh 6, Theunis de Bruyn lbw b Porel 6, Zubayr Hamza lbw b Jadeja 22, Temba Bavuma (not out) 87, Faf du Plessis lbw b Jadeja 9, Vernon Philander c Rohit b Jadeja 48, Extras (lb-1): 1; Total (for six wkts. in 64 overs): 279.
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-33, 3-78, 4-171, 5-199, 6-279.
Board President’s XI bowling: Umesh Yadav 11-0-56-1, Shardul Thakur 13-3-47-0, Ishan Porel 8-1-26-1, Avesh Khan 12-1-51-0, Jalaj Saxena 8-1-32-0, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 12-1-66-3.
Board President’s XI — 1st innings: Mayank Agarwal c Philander b Maharaj 39, Rohit Sharma c (sub) Klaasen b Philander 0, Abhimanyu Easwaran c Markram b Rabada 13, Priyank Panchal c du Plessis b Philander 60, Karun Nair c (sub) Klaassen b Maharaj 19, Siddesh Lad (not out) 52, Srikar Bharat b Maharaj 71, Jalaj Saxena lbw b Muthusamy 2, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja c (sub) Klassen b Piedt 0, Extras (lb-4, b-4, nb-1): 9; Total (for eight wkts. in 64 overs): 265.
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-23, 3-85, 4-134, 5-136, 6-236, 7-264, 8-265.
South Africa bowling: Rabada 9.5-1-27-1, Philander 9-1-27-2, Maharaj 13.1-4-35-3, Ngidi 8-0-55-0, Nortje 9-2-31-0, Piedt 14-3-80-1, Muthusamy 1-0-2-1.