Report: Ind A vs NZ A, Day 2
After rain washed out the first day of the tour opener, the New Zealand A side posted 310 runs in the first innings on Day 2 after opting to bat. Chasing the target India were trailing by 304 runs with nine wickets in hand in the three-day match at the Port Trust Diamond Jubilee Stadium in Visakhapatnam. When play ended on the second day, Jiwanjot Singh (1*) and Sarabjit Ladda (1*) were at the crease.
Earlier, after opting to bat first, New Zealand A lost opener Neil Broom with just twenty runs on the board. Although Jalaj Saxena toppled the top-order to leave the visitors reeling on 55 for the loss of four wickets. Luke Ronchi and James Neesham then came together and added 50 runs until Rakesh Dhruve ended the blossoming stand and Saxena followed up with the wicket of Derek de Boorder to deal a double blow.
However, Todd Astle who then joined Ronchi in the middle helped breathe life into the NZ innings. The duo diligently garnered runs to stem the fall of wickets and fought their way back into the game. The Indian bowlers were unable to make further dents into the batting line-up until much later into the last session of the day as the Kiwis rallied on to take their team well past the 200-run mark. They had added 146 runs for the seventh wicket before Dhawal Kulkarni struck to end Ronchi’s valiant effort. Trapped leg-before the middle-order bat returned to the dressing room for 125 off 110 balls with 16 boundaries and four sixes, leaving the team respectably placed on 252 for seven.
Astle continued to carry the innings forward and build on the platform with the remaining lower-order batsmen, before walking back to the dressing room. The No 8 bat who had held up one end to help rebuild the innings had made 63 before being sent back by Saxena. The offspinner then claimed Ish Sodhi to end the NZ innings for 310 and finish the day with a six wicket haul.
Astle then returned to claim India A’s Unmukt Chand to give his side an early breakthrough. Caught by the wicketkeeper, the opener was dismissed for four in the second over.
At the end of Day 2: New Zealand A 1st innings 310 all out in 77.3 overs (L Ronchi 125, T Astle 63, J Saxena 6/106, R Dhruve 2/35); India A 1st innings 6/1 in 3 overs (J Singh 1*, S Ladda 1*, T Astle 1/4)
At the end of Day 1: Play called off due to rain