Hamish Rutherford is as Dunedin as the Octagon, scarfies and rugby under the roof. But the way things have gone for him at Mt Maunganui in the past seven weeks, he must be thinking seriously of trying to pack up the Bay Oval and carry it round with him.

On Friday the opening batman carried on a dream run of form on the ground as he stroked his way to an impressive 70 off 66 balls for New Zealand A against India A in the first of three one day internationals.

That followed on from a century for Otago against Northern Districts in the first match of the Plunket Shield season and another for New Zealand A against India A in the first four day match of this tour in mid November.

In between he suffered a head knock while batting in the second four day match and had to have a head injury assessment.


On the basis of his batting in the first one dayer here, he is suffering no ill effects.

Rutherford and George Worker were seldom troubled on a good pitch after New Zealand A was surprisingly sent in by India A captain Manesh Pandy. The rain and wind of recent days was nowhere to be seen and conditions were nigh on perfect for the 2pm start.

The opening partnership raced to 50 in the 10th over with both left handed openers strong square of the wicket against the pace bowlers Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini.

Rutherford did have a couple of close calls. A direct hit at the bowler's end had the India A fieldsmen confident of a run out. From the boundary it appeared to be a marginal call at best but with no TV replay available, umpire Chris Brown gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Ahmed thought he'd grazed Rutherford's gloves in the ninth over but the very confident appeal for a catch at the wicket was turned down, this time by the other adjudicator Shaun Haig.

The first wicket did come from a run out though. Rutherford played it just in front of point but a direct hit had Worker short of his ground as he raced to the batsman's end. This time Brown had no doubt and Worker was gone for an impressive 35 which had promised more.

Rutherford then gave the impression he needed to make up for his opening partner's demise.

His best shot of the day to that time brought up his 50 with a delightful straight drive to the boundary.


He then hit the left armer Krunal Pandya out of the attack with a six over mid wicket then an inside out cover drive for 4.

Rutherford was finally out for 70 when he top edged off spinner Krishnappa Gowtham and was caught at mid wicket by the India A captain Pandey.

With Corey Anderon also falling to a top edge off Saini, New Zealand A were 137 for 3 after 30 overs and on track for a solid score for India A to chase under the lights.