Young Karnataka batsman Ravikumar Samarth’s unbeaten half-century was the only highlight for India A in their rain-affected second ‘unofficial Test’ against New Zealand A, which ended in a draw. With nearly two days of play abandoned due to rain, 45 overs of play was possible on the final day with India reaching 159 for 2 when captains decided to shake hands.
New Zealand A had earlier scored 303 for 7 before declaring their first innings, courtesy a hundred from opener Will Young. Apart from Samarth (50 no, 83 balls), openers Mayank Agarwal (42, 57 balls) and Abhimanyu Easwaran (47, 109 balls) also got starts but failed to make it big. Once Samarth reached his 17th half-century in his 50th first-class appearance, the match was called off.
In the morning, Agarwal and Easwaran added 74 runs for the opening stand in 21 overs. Agarwal was the dominant of the duo hitting seven fours before being caught by ‘keeper Glenn Phillips off medium pacer Seth Rance’s bowling. Easwaran and Samarth added another 50 runs for the second wicket as the Bengal opener was unable to keep the scoreboard ticking during his near four hour knock. He batted for 231 minutes, faced 109 balls, hitting six fours in the process before being send back by pacer Blair Tickner nicking to Phillips behind stumps.
New Zealand A 1st Innings 303/7 decl (Will Young 123, Mohd Siraj 4/59)
India A 1st Innings 159/2 (Ravikumar Samarth 50 no, Abhimayu Easwaran 47, Mayank Agarwal 42)