Cricket: New Zealand A draw first match

Canterbnury allrounder Todd Astle. Photo / Getty Images.
Canterbnury allrounder Todd Astle. Photo / Getty Images.

After losing day one to rain, New Zealand A's three-day match against India A in Visakhapatnam has predictably ended in a draw.

In response to New Zealand's first innings total of 310, two Indian batsmen made centuries to build a 78-run lead for their side before the match finished with the hosts on 388-seven after 93.5 overs.

With New Zealand bowlers needing to create a collapse early for any chance of a result, India's Vijay Zol (110) and Abhishek Nayar (102no) quickly put to rest that idea. Todd Astle finished as the leading wicket-taker for New Zealand with figures of 3-106 from 18 overs.

Having resumed at 6-1, the Indian top order put in a composed performance, preventing the visitors from taking wickets in quick succession. Zol established himself at the crease quickly and hit 19 fours in his 153-ball knock.

India lost none of their control when he departed in the 65th over, with captain Nayar continuing to frustrate the New Zealand bowlers.

He brought up his ton just before the end of play, using 110 balls in the process.

Spin was the key for New Zealand and, accordingly, Astle and Ish Sodhi were the most used bowlers. Sodhi finished with figures of 2-100 from 23.5 overs, while Doug Bracewell and Carl Cachopa picked up a wicket apiece.

"There were a lot of positives for us in the two days that we got,'' said coach Grant Bradburn. "[It] was a little disappointing to miss day one through the monsoon rains, but to get two valuable days of cricket was excellent for us.

"Todd and Ish Sodhi bowled very well today and Todd picked up some great scalps in his three wickets. It was tough conditions on a pretty flat wicket, but to spend a day in the field will have been hugely beneficial for us.

"We'll look at our own performance and make sure we are adjusting and assessing the conditions and adapting our skills accordingly to what we're facing here.''

New Zealand A next play India A in a four-day match beginning Monday.

Short scoreboard: NZ A 310 (Ronchi 125, Astle 63; Saxena 6-106) drew with India A 388-7 (Zol 110, Nayar 102no, Singh 48; Astle 3-106, Sodhi 2-100).

- NZ Herald

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