New Zealand A’s last-wicket pair frustrated India A attack with a 83-run stand as the home team kept the first innings lead down to just nine runs after third day’s play in the first ‘Unofficial Test’ Sunday. In reply to India A’s 467 for eight, New Zealand A declared their first innings at 458 for nine after being reduced to 375 for nine at one stage.
New Zealand A’s No 10 batsman Seth Rance (69 no, 57 balls) and No 11 Blair Tickner (30 no) played out the next one hour to negate chances of a substantial lead for the visitors. At stumps, India A reached 35 for no loss in their second innings with the young Prithvi Shaw (33 batting, 26 balls) hitting seven boundaries in the company of veteran Murali Vijay (2 batting, 22 balls). India’s overall lead currently is 44 runs.
The Indian bowlers started off well in the third morning as New Zealand A were reduced to 211 for five from 176 for one within the first hour of play. Tim Seifert (20) edged one to Parthiv Patel off Mohammed Siraj (1/104 in 29 overs). Centurion Hamish Rutherford (114, 181 balls) was cleaned up by Deepak Chahar (2/51 in 12.4 overs), who didn’t complete his 13th over.
Left-handed opener Rutherford, who has played 17 Tests for New Zealand, hit 17 boundaries and a six. Chahar also got rid of Rachin Ravindra (0) while Navdeep Saini (2/88 in 25 overs) trapped Glenn Phillips (16) leg-before. However, the Indian bowlers couldn’t press home the initial advantage with the second new ball as Doug Bracewell (48) and Dane Cleaver (53) added 65 runs for the sixth wicket before off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham (3/107 in 42 overs) castled him.
Cleaver and Kyle Jamieson (30) added another 53 to take the team past the 300-run mark. Jamieson and Cleaver were then dismissed in quick succession as New Zealand A were reduced to 346 for eight. Theo van Weorkom (11) added 29 with Rance before the final flourish from the last pair.
Brief Scores: India A 467/8 decl and 35/0 (Prithvi Shaw 33 batting)
New Zealand A 458/9 decl (Hamish Rutherford 114, Seth Rance 69 no, Dan Cleaver 53, Doug Bracewell 48, Krishnappa Gowtham 3/107, Navdeep Saini 2/88, Deepak Chahar 2/51, Mohammed Siraj 1/104).