2nd unofficial ODI between India 'A' and NZ 'A' ends in tie
Their middle-order batting woes lay exposed but India 'A' did just enough to avoid a defeat and settle for a thrilling tie against New Zealand 'A' via the Duckworth-Lewis method in the truncated second unofficial ODI cricket match here today.
Chasing a revised target of 241 in 48 overs after bad light halted proceedings, India 'A' ended their innings on 240 for nine to tie the match and be 1-0 up in the three-match series after having won the lung-opener.
New Zealand 'A' had originally put 249 for nine on the scoreboard but bad light forced the officials to revise the target for India at Bert Sutcliffe Oval.
Electing to bat, the Kiwis could not have asked for a worse start as they lost two wickets with just 20 runs on the board. But opener George Worker (61) and number four Neil Broom (82) shared a 149-run stand to rescue the hosts.
While Worker's knock came off 81 deliveries, Broom exhausted 108 balls for his fine innings. Both the batsmen steered the rocking Kiwi boat with some fine strokes. Worker sent down seven hits to the fence, while Broom struck nine fours and a six in his aggressive knock. Worker was eventually run out by R Vinay Kumar and Broom followed him to the dressing room a few deliveries later by becoming Rahul Sharma's only victim of the match.
Some handy contributions down the order helped the Kiwis to reach a competitive total.
Jaydev Unadkat was once again the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of four for 47 from his 10 overs.
The Indian chase started on a steady note as Under-19 World Cup hero Unmukt Chand (23) and skipper Abhinav Mukund (66) combined for a 52-run opening stand.
Unmukt's departure in the 15th over had little impact on the chase as number three Naman Ojha (62) joined hands with Mukund for a 99-run partnership.
The Indians were cruising along at 150 for 1 before Mukund's departure in the 34th over after a 83-ball knock, that included four boundaries and a couple of sixes, triggered a slide. Ojha was dismissed in the very next over after four fours and two hits over the fence.
Barring Ambati Rayudu's unbeaten 46, not a single Indian lower midle-order batman could make a noteworthy contribution. The Indians seemed headed for a defeat but somehow managed to hang on for a tie after equalling the score.
The third and final match of the series is scheduled for Sunday.
New Zealand A: 249-9 in 50 overs (Broom 82, Unadkat 4-47).
India A: 240-9 in 48 overs (Mukund 66, McKay 5-50).