India A 307/5 against New Zealand A at tea

September 30th, 2008 - 5:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 30 (IANS) Skipper Suresh Raina smashed five sixes in an over en route to his unbeaten 139 to help India A tighten their grip on the third day of the first ‘Test’ against New Zealand A at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here Tuesday. At tea, India were 307 for five, enjoying an overall lead of 325 runs with four sessions remaining in the four-day game.

Raina’s five sixes came in leg-spinner Aaron Redmond’s 12th over as the 21-year old southpaw went after the bowler, carting him over mid-wicket off consecutive deliveries. Redmond went for 92 runs in his 12 overs and was promptly taken off the attack.

More importantly, Raina’s run-a-ball innings that included eight fours and eight sixes provided India the momentum and put them in a strong position to force victory.

The Kiwi bowlers, toiling in hot and humid conditions, were made to look pedestrian as opener Sahil Kukreja (41) and Murali Vijay (57) chipped in to provide a solid foundation for the Indian innings.

Raina batted freely, driving fluently with impeccable timing. Along with Vijay, he put on 83 runs for the third wicket. He added 59 for the fifth with Yusuf Pathan (25) after Jaydev Shah’s cheap dismissal.

In the company of Wriddhiman Saha (20 batting), Raina added 77 runs in just 15.2 overs for the unfinished sixth wicket.

Such was India’s pace that they scored 139 runs in 34.3 overs in the first session and another 141 in 29 overs in the second session to push the Kiwis on the backfoot.

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