India A made heavy weather of a small chase before beating New Zealand A by three wickets in the first unofficial ODI match on Wednesday. Electing to bowl,the Indians packed off the hosts for 176 before surviving some anxious moments to overhaul the target in 47.2 overs. The match took two days to complete after it was postponed yesterday due to unfit pitch at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval here. The Indian bowlers kept it tight with Jaydev Unadkat taking a four-wicket haul.
The Kiwis suffered the first jolt in the sixth over when opener Hamish Rutherford went after facing 13 deliveries that could not fetch him a single run. The hosts were five down for 51 runs before wicketkeeper-batsman Derek de Boorder (62) and skipper Andrew Ellis (45) added 80.
But apart from that,New Zealand As batting floundered miserably as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rahul Sharma picked up two wickets apiece. The Indian chase was off to a steady start with Abhinav Mukund (20) and in-form Unmukt Chand (32) putting up a 51-run opening stand.
Unmukt struck three fours and a six in his innings that came off 58 balls. But once the two departed,it triggered a collapse of sorts with Mandeep Singh being the only middle-order batsman to make a noteworthy contribution a 66-ball 34. But the lower-order duo of Ambati Rayudu (26) and Rahul Sharma (31) chipped in to rescue the team from a precarious 115 for five.
Brief scores: NZ A: 176 in 48.2 overs (de Boorder 62,A Ellis 45,J Unadkat 4/44) vs India A 180/7 in 47.2 overs (M Singh 34,Mitchell McClenaghan 3/42)