Zubayr Hamza scored his 27th century in First-Class cricket to propel South Africa A to a competitive second innings score, setting India A a target 304 runs to win before rain brought an early end to the day’s play and the series, as the match in Bloemfontein concluded in a draw.
The result at the Mangaung Oval means the unofficial Test series ended in a stalemate 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.
Soon after the tea break 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.
Brief Scores: South Africa A 268 all out and 311/3 (Zubayr Hamza 125*, Sarel Erwee 97; K Gowtham 2/81) drew against India A 276 all out & 90/3 (Prithvi Shaw 38, Abhimanyu Easwaran 19; Senuran Muthusamy 1/8).