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‘Maybe I lost my temperament’ – Bawne after missing a hundred

Ankit Bawne had a bittersweet end to his innings during the first day of the second unofficial Test against South Africa A in Alur.

Batting on 80, and looking set for a big innings, Bawne was stumped in the 74th over trying to use his feet and slog offspinner Dane Piedt out of the ground for the second time in as many overs.

Bawne’s knock helped rescue India A from 80 for 3 after the first session but missing out on an 18th first-class hundred – that too against a quality attack – left the Maharashtra batsman crestfallen.

“I was very disappointed on missing out on hundred. Maybe I just lost my temperament,” Bawne said after the day’s play. “It happens in the game, I wanted to accelerate for a bit and get to 100. I thought that the new ball will come, so wanted to get my hundred before the new ball. I got out in the 74th over, I wanted to bat till the 80th.

“But great satisfaction from the knock to score runs on such a track. This is what A-cricket is all about. We are here to improve, so every opportunity we get is important because it can impact our careers.”

Bawne came to the crease just before lunch, after captain Shreyas Iyer’s departure for a brisk 39 forced the middle order to rebuild after an initial stumble. A wicketless second session was ideal for India, and that’s exactly what Bawne and centurion Hanuma Vihari delivered after lunch; the duo churned out 102 runs in the middle session, but more importantly remained unbeaten until tea.

The initial overs after lunch weren’t easy, with Duanne Olivier and Anrich Nortje teasing the batsmen with length deliveries just outside off, but Bawne said that patient batting helped him overcome the challenge thrown by the South Africa pacers.

“The time when I went in to bat, they were on top and we badly needed a partnership. So mine and Hanuma’s partnership was very crucial that time,” Bawne said. “We needed to play well because their fast bowlers were bowling well. The main thing was I was leaving the ball very well; as a Test batsman, you need to leave well. So that was my highlight.

“We’ve [the India A team] been playing together for a while, so I knew that our job was to bat for a session. If we bat for a session, we would get 60-70 runs. So it was important to play the overs because we knew we would get runs when the spinners come.”

After his innings, Bawne was also sure to tip his hat to India A (and Under-19) coach Rahul Dravid, who observed the first day from the pavilion as well as from the boundary line. Bawne praised the former India captain’s ‘less-is-more’ policy in the changing room.

“Rahul sir has been a big support for me,” Bawne said. “I started with him since the South Africa tour, and he speaks very few words but they’re very powerful words. You get to learn every day from him.”

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