Shardul and Kuldeep left the Kiwi side reeling at 27 for 5 within 7.3 overs of the clash. Shardul started the slide for the visitors by cleaning up opener Chad Bowes (10) in the 3rd over. Kuldeep, operating from the other end, too kept a tight leash on the batsmen. The Kiwis’ situation only got worse as they slipped to 74 for 8 in the 19th over and were in danger of being bowled out for a low total. However, Michael Rippon (61, 4×4) and Joe Walker (36) got together and their 89-run stand for the 9th wicket gave respectability to the Kiwi total.
Both Rippon and Walker kept the India ‘A’ bowlers at bay during their stand that lasted 126 deliveries. The stand ended when Walker was run out in the 39th over before Shardul got rid of Rippon — caught by Rishi Dhawan — to end Kiwis’ innings. Shardul felt the flurry of wickets at the start set the tone for the match. “It was a good batting pitch but we fortunately got wickets early on which helped us a lot. We didn’t expect them to lose so many wickets (early on). With the game starting at 9am, the wicket had something in it for the bowlers during the first hour and we were able to make use of that,” Shardul said after the match.
A target of 168 never tested the India ‘A’ batting line-up. After losing Prithvi Shaw (17) early, Ruturaj, in the company of Tripathi, stitched a 56-run partnership for the second wicket to keep the side on track. India ‘A’ lost both Ruturaj and Tripathi in quick succession, but skipper Sanju Samson (29 n.o.) and Patidar teamed up to help the side wrap things up in 31.5 overs. Patidar and Sanju looked at ease during their unbroken 69-run stand for the fourth wicket. Patidar’s 41-ball knock was studded with 7 fours. At the other end, Sanju’s innings contained a four and three sixes.
Brief scores: New Zealand ‘A’ 167 in 40.2 overs (Michael Rippon 61, Joe Walker 36; Shardul 4-32, Kuldeep Sen 3-30). India ‘A’ 170-3 in 31.5 overs (Rajat Patidar 45 n.o., Ruturaj Gaikwad 41, Rahul Tripathi 31, Sanju Samson 29 n.o). India ‘A’ won by 7 wickets
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