Mayank Agarwal scored his fourth century in the last eight games to put India A in a winning position.kxp
Just weeks after scoring a match winning ton against England Lions and months after scoring a Ranji Trophy triple hundred playing for Karnataka, Kings XI Punjab’s Mayank Agarwal treated himself to a high Protean diet by whacking a double century against South Africa A in the first unofficial test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on Sunday.
Opening the innings for India A, the elegant Agarwal shared a double century opening stand with Prithvi Shaw before the latter was cleaned up by Dane Piedt. Agarwal, however, continued his domination of the bowlers and carried his bat through Day 2, notching up his eighth First-class hundred in the process. He was dismissed early on Day 3, but not before putting his team firmly in the driver’s seat.
Agarwal started off in style, scoring boundaries at will. He stroked the pacers to the boundary effortlessly and whacked the spinners over the ropes with even more ease. He brought up his century in just 102 balls and continued his rampage to bring on a 172-ball 150. He eventually reached 220 runs off 251 balls at a healthy strike rate of 87.64. His innings comprised of 31 fours and 4 towering sixes.
India A needed to overhaul South Africa A’s first innings total of 246 in their innings to reach an early advantage. Thanks to Agarwal’s blitz, the team overhauled the total before tea and managed to pile on a crucial first innings lead with Agarwal himself scoring almost as much as the entire South Africa A team. The team eventually scored 584 for 8 before declaring the innings, mounting on a huge 338 run lead. They are now in touching distance of a crushing innings victory with two days still to be played.
If Mayank Agarwal’s purple patch in First class and List A games continues, it is just a matter of time before he joins the ranks of fellow Punjabi Kings Ravichandran Ashwin and Lokesh Rahul in the dressing room of the Indian Cricket team.