India 137/2 after NZ A's early declaration
India A were comfortably-placed at 137 for two in their second innings after New Zealand A declared their first essay despite being 105 runs behind the visitors on the third and penultimate day of the first unofficial cricket Test here today.
The Kiwis were 234 for eight in reply to the Indians' 339 all out when they decided to declare after playing out 78 overs.
The hosts managed to get this far riding on opener Tom Latham's dogged knock of 132, that came off 207 balls and included 14 hits to the boundary. Latham shared a 122-runs fifth-wicket partnership with his overnight partner Reece Young (54), who faced 135 deliveries and smashed seven fours. These two were the cornerstones of the Kiwi reply which was painfully slow given that it took them 62.6 overs to touch the 200-mark.
After Young was trapped in front of the wicket by spinner Rahul Sharma, Latham shared another 50-run partnership with Sam Wells (18) and the host team's innings continued till the time the opener was in the middle.
For India, Shami Ahmed (3/56) and Rahul (2/49) and R Vinay Kumar (2/65) did the wicket-taking job while keeping it tight in terms of the runs conceded. India's reply was a steady one after the early loss of under-19 skipper Unmukt Chand (8).
The other opener, Abhinav Mukund continued his fine form and struck a 60-ball 41, including six boundaries, before becoming Sam Wells' only victim of the day. But the fall of these two wickets did not hurt India too badly as Anustup Majumdar and Mandeep Singh put on 64 unbeaten runs for the third wicket.
Majumdar was the more aggressive of the two as he smashed a 79-ball 52, including six boundaries. Mandeep, on the other hand, faced 53 deliveries for his patient 29. The two were holding fort for India when play was stopped early due to bad light for the third day in a row.
New Zealand A: 234 declared India A: 339 and 137 for two in 36 overs (Anustup Majumdar 52 batting, Abhinav Mukund 41, Sam Wells 1/34).