India A-New Zealand A match heading towards a draw

October 5th, 2008 - 8:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 5 (IANS) Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara missed out on centuries as New Zealand A took an overall lead of 146 runs at stumps on the third day of their four-day match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here Sunday.Opener Vijay, who looked set for a century, was out two short of the milestone while Pujara was dismissed for 80 as India, replying to New Zealand’s first innings total of 315, were all out for 276.

In the second essay, the Kiwis were 107 for three at stumps on the penultimate day with chances of draw looming large.

The dismissals of Vijay and Pujara led to a swift closure of the Indian innings as five wickets fell for 55 runs with leg-spinner Aaron Redmond claiming four for 30.

The batsmen who followed the pair that added 139 runs for the fourth wicket, failed to measure up to the task and gave away cheap wickets.

The contest thus far has been rather even and the Kiwis, despite losing Redmond early in their second innings, managed to recover to put themselves in a position from where they can hope to draw the game if not win it.

With the pitch offering little or no assistance save the occasional delivery popping up, Kiwi bowlers would need to perform exceptionally well Monday to take 10 Indian wickets, but much would depend on how long the visitors would bat on the last day.

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