Visakhapatnam: Sep 5, 2013
Manprit Juneja missed out on a well-deserved double hundred by only seven runs while New Zealand A top-order got some much needed batting practise against India A bowlers as the second unofficial ‘Test’ between the two sides predictably ended in a draw.
In reply to New Zealand A’s first innings score of 437, Indians finished their first innings seven runs short at 430.
In the second innings, the Kiwis finished at 176 for three in 51.2 overs as the umpires decided to call off the match after taking consent of the two skippers. In all 62.5 overs of play was held on the final day.
The honours were shared as both the Test matches failed to yield any positive outcome for either of the two teams.
The only interest in final day’s play was whether young Juneja (193, 20×4, 1×6) would get to score his second first-class double hundred but seamer Mark Gillespie (4/80) dismissed him caught by Corey Anderson.
Resuming the day at 408 for seven, India added 22 more runs with Juneja scoring 15 off them.
But Gillespie used his slower delivery to good effect as Dhawal Kulkarni (10) was caught and bowled. Juneja was the next man out, while Imtiaz Ahmed was also castled by him as he finished with four wickets in the match.
With a result out of question, New Zealand A skipper Tom Latham (61, 7×4) put his head down to get some runs, which will help his confidence before the start of the List A series.
After Neil Broom (0) was trapped leg before by Kulkarni, Latham in company of Carl Cachopa (76, 13×4) added 128 runs for the second wicket and the contest was as good as over. Left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhurv (2/45) removed the two set batsmen in successive overs but it was too late in the day.
The two unofficial Test series had some positives for the Indian team as far as their batting reserves are concerned. Young India U-19 skipper Vijay Zol announced his arrival in the First-Class arena with a century and Juneja showed why he is rated so highly in the domestic circuit when it comes to days’ cricket.
Kerala opener Vasudevan Jagadeesh also showed glimpses of his talent with a gritty knock.
The biggest disappointment was Delhi’s Unmukt Chand who failed to even reach double figures in the two matches. Unmukt also had a disastrous ACC Emerging Trophy campaign in Singapore where he scored only against Pakistan.
His sequence of scores in the last five games (List A and First-Class) reads: 10, 0, 15, 4, 4.
One can only hope that Unmukt scores a few runs in the upcoming List A series where he has been entrusted with the responsibility of leading the side.
New Zealand A 437 & 176 for 3 (Tom Latham 61, Carl Cachopa 76, Rakesh Dhurv 2 for 45) drew with India A 430 (Manprit Juneja 193, Vasudevan Jagadeesh 91, Abhishek Nayar 58, Mark Gillespie 4 for 80, Doug Bracewell 3 for 88).