Report: Ind A vs NZ A, 1st One Day
India A posted a thumping six-wicket win over New Zealand A in the first of the three-match ODI series at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam. Chasing the 258-run target, openers Robin Uthappa and Unmukt Chand set a solid foundation for the hosts with a 178-run stand.
Earlier, New Zealand A were bowled out for 257 with two balls still remaining in their innings, after they opted to bat first. Shrikant Wagh gave the home team its first breakthrough with the key wicket of opener Luke Ronchi in the ninth over.
However, Anton Devcich and Carl Cachopa put together 51 runs, before the hosts could claim their second wicket. Rahul Sharma claimed Devcich, who edged the delivery to Robin Uthappa at first slip to return for 48. And 48 runs later, Ashok Menaria castled Cachopa for 45. Thereafter, the hosts kept striking at regular intervals.
The Uthappa-Sharma pair then accounted for two more scalps. Corey Anderson and Colin Munro handed catches to Uthappa in the slips, and with Menaria sending back Tom Latham the visitors’ middle order was back in the dressing room, leaving the team precariously placed on 159 for six. Eight overs later, captain Andrew Ellis offered a catch to Mandeep Singh at short midwicket off Dhawal Kulkarni to walk back for 17. But Daryl Mitchell and Ish Sodhi kept NZ A in the game with a 70-run stand for the eighth wicket. The partnership was halted by Menaria who dismissed Sodhi, while Kulkarni followed up with the wicket of Matt Henry. The pacer finally ended the NZ A innings by disrupting Mitchell’s stumps for 51.
Chasing the modest target, Uthappa and Chand got India off to a flying start. The Delhi youngster ended his poor run in the middle with a blistering 88-ball 94, comprising six hits over the ropes and nine boundaries. Chand’s blitzkrieg ended six runs short of a well-deserved ton, when he was caught by Latham off Devcich. His experienced opening partner, Uthappa, too smashed five sixes en route his ton; the last one over mid-wicket off Adam Milne got him to the three-figure mark. His essay concluded when he was caught by Munro off Milne. However, by then India A were within 32 runs of victory with over 11 overs left. And so the double-blow by Milne, who sent back Mandeep Singh and Menaria, did not affect India A as they raced to victory with 35 balls to spare.
Remaining unbeaten on 37, Aditya Tare who got off the mark with a boundary off Henry, took India across the line along with Kedar Jadhav who sealed the win with a four as well.
Brief scores: New Zealand A 257 all-out in 49.4 overs (D Mitchell 51, A Devcich 48, C Cachopa 45, D Kulkarni 3/38, A Menaria 3/43, R Sharma 3/45) lost to India A 261/1 in 44.1 overs (R Uthappa 103, U Chand 94, A Milne 3/43) by 6 wickets