NEW ZEALAND A v INDIA A
First first-class fixture
16-19 November 2018
Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
Result: Match drawn
Bowlers on both sides were made to work hard for their wickets in an opening draw between New Zealand A and India A at Bay Oval.
After both captains had declared their first innings at 450-plus, the last day petered out to an early finish as India A's top order again all profited with the bat.
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Two quick wickets after lunch gave New Zealand A a glimmer of hope, Mayank Agarwal bowled by Blair Tickner for the second time in the match and Canterbury spinner Theo van Woerkom picking up Murali Vijay as Hamish Rutherford scurried round from slip to take the mistimed sweep on the other side of the keeper.
But there was never enough life in the baked deck to offer much for the pacemen, and all the India A top five had got starts of 40-plus, Prithvi Shaw (50), Vijay (60) and Hanuma Vihari (an unbeaten 51) pocketing half centuries before the match was brought to an early conclusion on the last afternoon.
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And that’s a wrap here at Bay Oval with the high scoring match between NZ A and India A resulting in a draw. 🇳🇿v🇮🇳 India A spending the final day at the crease to reach 247/3, M. Vijay top scoring with 60. Bracewell, Tickner and van Woerkom all picking up a wicket for NZ A. Here’s a recap of some of the highlights from @beyond_heddfan_garden 📷. What a great world class match to have right here in the Bay of Plenty!
It was an encouraging performance from New Zealand A against a more experienced touring party, Tickner finishing with the most impressive haul, adding his second innings wicket to a first innings four for 80 and a career best 30* in the tail with his bat; while young Rachin Ravindra turned in an economical 18 overs without reward.
Earlier, India A had gone to lunch with an interim lead of 138 runs, Shaw the only loss in the morning session.
Having resumed on 33* overnight, Shaw reached his half century off just 51 balls, but would face only a further two deliveries before ladling a catch to Will Young at point off NZ A skipper Doug Bracewell, who broke through at 74 for one.
His opening partner Vijay carried on to reach an unbroken 55-stand with Agarwal by lunch, with Vijay in sight of a half century and Agarwal making a start of his own on 32 by the end of the session. India would plough on to 247 for three in 65 overs before the captains shook hands.
Solid performances in the middle to late order saw New Zealand A eventually capitalise on Hamish Rutherford's century, declaring just nine runs behind India A's hefty first-innings dig of 467 for eight.
It put captain Doug Bracewell in a position to declare at 458 for nine in the last session, Seth Rance left unbeaten on 69* and just a couple of runs shy of his best first-class score.
Coming in at 10, Rance (above) and his Stags teammate Blair Tickner (a career best 30*) had injected life into the final session after an otherwise dour day's batting as New Zealand A set about getting somewhere near to hauling in a big first-innings total.
The tailenders enjoyed themselves as much as they frustrated the India A attack, the visitors having had their hosts 211 for five after breaking through with Rutherford's wicket in morning session and then quickly picking up Rachin Ravindra and Glenn Phillips to boot.
Rutherford had departed for 114, just eight runs added to his overnight score before he chopped one on against Deepak Chahar, but a dogged half century from Dane Cleaver (53 off 133 balls) saw the wicketkeeper-batsman build valuable partnerships with Bracewell and then Kyle Jamieson to get New Zealand A back in the game.
Bracewell was outfoxed by Gowtham juts two runs short of his own half century, but the pair had put on 65 for the sixth wicket, while Cleaver (above) and Jamieson added a further 53 for the seventh.
Cleaver had the New Zealand 350 in his sights when he holed out after almost three and a half hours at the crease, but Rance's positivity put quick runs on the board as he galloped to his 69 off just 57 balls, including four boundaries and four sixes.
Aiding the cause was Tickner's determination. Not known for his batting prowess, the tall pace bowler gutsed out 56 balls for his 30 in the last hour and a quarter before Bracewell called them in to have a crack at India A with the ball before stumps.
By the end of the day, India A had made a start on their second innings, advancing their lead to 44 runs as they headed in at 30 for no loss. Prithvi Shaw led the way for the visitors with an unbeaten 33*.
An unbeaten first-class century to opening batsman Hamish Rutherford was New Zealand A's highlight on the second day against an experienced India A side as the runs kept flowing at Bay Oval.
Earlier, pace man Blair Tickner toiled away on another warm Bay of Plenty day to finish with 4-80 off his 22.1 overs, before India A declared eight down at a hefty 467.
India A captain Ajinkya Rahane pulled the pin on his experienced troupe's first dig shortly after 2pm, after having lost two quick wickets in the space of seven balls.
Vijay Shankar had been caught behind on 62 after going after young Rachin Ravindra only to slice a top edge high above his head. Wicketkeeper Dane Cleaver ran almost full circle behind him, and did well to eventually collect the skied catch into the bright sun.
It was Cleaver's third grab of the innings, having earlier helped finally dismiss Parthiv Patel. Another smart grab off his Stags teammate Tickner, it denied Patel three figures as he departed on 92, having to settle for being India A's top individual run-scorer in a solid team total.
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That was earlier on during the second morning, but the breakthrough didn't stop India A powering on another 94 runs, Krishnappa Gowtham reaching 47 batting at eight before he was bowled by Tickner, prompting the declaration.
By tea, NZ A had got off to a strong start with the bat themselves at 73 for no loss. Called in hot from the Otago Volts' stunning Ford Trophy campaign, Hamish Rutherford had been the more aggressive of the team's new opening duo, reaching 43* from just 68 deliveries by the break.
More accustomed to four or first drop, Will Young had meanwhile moved up in this match to open alongside the in-form southerner, and looked solid on a patient 26*. The pair then brought up their hundred stand in the last session off 155 balls, shortly after Rutherford had posted his half century.
Rutherford had reached 67 when suddenly he lost his partner, Young trapped while attempting to sweep Gowtham - just one run shy of his own half century.
By stumps Rutherford, who had only been called into the squad two days earlier after George Worker was hit in the helmet in the nets, had raised his bat for his 13th first class century.
He headed back into the Bay Oval pavilion unbeaten on 106, his century having come off 155 deliveries (including 15 boundaries and one six) after more than three and a half hours' labour at the crease.
New Zealand A will resume day three on what looks like a batsman's paradise at 176 for the loss of just the one wicket, Tim Seifert seeing Rutherford through the last hour to end the day unbeaten on 13.
New Zealand A’s opening first-class match of their home series against India A is off to a testing start at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval.
Captained for the first time by the Central Stags’ one-day captain Doug Bracewell, who has joined the Series direct from The Ford Trophy, Bracewell’s luck with the coin at toss time this season continued — i.e., there was none of it, and Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane promptly decided to bat first.
Coming in as first change behind Seth Rance and Kyle Jamieson, Bracewell would redeem himself later in the afternoon when he slid one through Rahane’s defences when the 30-year-old India A skipper was on just 12.
It was a useful breakthrough after the India A top order had got away on the hosts.
Openers Prithvi Shaw and Murali Vijay had put on 61 for the first wicket and 19-year-old Shaw strode on to the first of four half-centuries from the Indian visitors in the middle session, off just 80 deliveries.
The opening day had been interrupted by an abnormally long lunch break after a catering mix-up but, after eventually resuming on 82 for one, the undistracted Shaw ticked off the six runs he needed for his fifty before progressing to an 88-ball 62.
Hanuma Vihari top-scored at four with a patient 86 before he was caught behind off Jamieson, disappointed to lose his wicket right at the end of an otherwise solid day for India, one on which he had shared a 138-run fifth-wicket stand with Parthiv Patel through the last session, with Patel unbeaten on 79*.
It meant the visitors went to stumps at 340 for five.
Big right-armer Blair Tickner was the most successful of the home side, continuing his good form from the tour of UAE with two top-order wickets for his day’s toil.