India A all out for 248 against New Zealand A

September 28th, 2008 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 28 (IANS) Off-spinner Nathan McCullum picked up six wickets as New Zealand A restricted India A to 248 in their first innings on the first day of the four-day match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here Sunday. In reply, the Kiwis were 36 without loss at stumps with Aaron Redmond on 31 and BJ Watling on two.

India would have drawn some consolation had Sudeep Tyagi, fielding at deep midoff, held on to Redmond’s catch off leg-spinner Amit Mishra in the eighth over.

Earlier, the Indian batsmen were guilty of throwing away their wickets when well set.

The pitch held no terrors and McCullum’s success was as much due to his persistence as the indiscretion on part of the Indian batsmen. The 28-year old sent down 30.4 overs unchanged.

McCullum, who is still to play for New Zealand despite nine first-class seasons, never really dominated the batsmen, but profited by the penchant of the Indians to go for big shots. At best, he was restrictive, bowling faster through the air with a flatter trajectory while tossing up the odd ball.

After deciding to take the first strike, India opener Salhi Kukreja was out cheaply in the fifth over. Murali Vijay (45) and Shikhar Dhawan (27) then put on 71 runs for the second wicket.

Murali, who has been scoring consistently since his first-class debut two seasons ago, batted with application and got on top of the bowling with some good shots on either side of the wicket.

However, just as the partnership looked to blossom, McCullum struck twice, removing Vijay, who edged to the lone slip and Dhawan, caught at mid-off attempting an ambitious over-the-top drive.

Thereafter, skipper Suresh Raina (21), Jaydev Shah (38) and Yusuf Pathan (44) came up with useful contributions, but then, gifted away their wickets. Raina was bowled by debutant Trent Boult playing the wrong line while Shah and Pathan holed out in the deep.

Pathan sparkled briefly with typical big hits and put on 54 runs for the sixth wicket with Wriddhiman Saha (25) who played a rather dour innings before McCullum removed him soon after tea.

With wickets falling at regular intervals, it was left to Amit Sharma to boost the total with some lusty blows at the end of the innings that was halted briefly due to bad light.

In gloomy conditions, the Kiwis kept a double-spin attack and BJ Watling, with his leg-breaks, picked up two wickets to hasten the end of Indian innings.

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