Aakash Sivasubramaniam
18 Sep 2022 | 11:35 AM

Saurabh Kumar’s nine-fer leads India A to a thumping 113-run win

With the win in the third encounter, India A register a 1-0 win in the series

While New Zealand ‘A’ were reduced to 20/1 at the end of third day’s play, they were put under the pump when Shardul Thakur struck first to remove the visitors’ No.3, Joe Walker. At 30/2, the visitors were put in severe pressure by the hosts before a dominant display by the left-arm spinner, Saurabh Kumar whipped up a procession. 

The left-arm spinner, who ended with figures of 4/48 in the first innings, always was going to make an impact during the fourth day, with the pitch deteriorating for the batters. And as expected, Saurabh’s first wicket of the day came in the 37th over, when the tweaker caught the right-handed Dane Cleaver right in front of the wickets. 

Mark Chapman, who walked out with intent, scoring five boundaries and one six, succumbed to the part-time spin of Sarfaraz Khan having scored a 61-ball 45. The Mumbai batter later struck again, to send back Robert ODonnell (19), as the visitors found themselves reeling, at 222/5, with the target being 415. 

Visiting skipper Tom Bruce, who like ODonnell, got a start, also succumbed to the left-arm spin of Saurabh, who picked up his third wicket of the innings. Four overs later, Saurabh struck again, this time sending back Sean Solia, leaving the rest of the unofficial Test a mere formality. 

Cam Fletcher, who walked out to bat at No.9, was the next batter to be dismissed with the Jammu and Kashmir pacer, Umran Malik picking up his first wicket of the second innings. Bengal’s Mukesh Kumar, who has been impressive in the series, removed New Zealand A’s opener, Joe Carter, picking up his first wicket of the day. 

Carter was by far easily, the most impressive of the Kiwi batters in display here in Bengaluru, with the right-handed opener scoring a scintillating 111 off 230 balls, scoring 12 boundaries and a six. The left-arm spinner then picked up the final wicket of the innings, removing Jacob Duffy, bringing up yet another fifer with the red-ball. 

Brief Scores: India A 359/7d and 293 (Rajat Patidar 109, Ruturaj Gaikwad 94; Rachin Ravindra 3/65) beat New Zealand A 302 and 237 (Joe Carter 111, Mark Chapman 45; Saurabh Kumar 5/103) by 113 runs

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