New Zealand A recovers after early hiccups against India A

October 3rd, 2008 - 7:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 3 (IANS) A determined New Zealand A ground their way to 270 for three in their first innings against India A at stumps on the opening day of the second four-day match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here Friday.Aaron Redmond (105) and Martin Guptill (80) put on 190 for the first wicket to provide the Kiwis a solid platform for a big total, and the Indian bowlers toiled in difficult conditions marked by humid weather and an unresponsive pitch.

As solidly as the Kiwis batted, much of the attention was on the two Indian Test players, former India captain Sourav Ganguly and paceman Rudra Pratap Singh who will be joining the National side next week for the first Test against Australia in Bangalore. They are here for some match practice.

Ganguly stood in the slips for much of the day, barring the 110 minutes he was not on field after lunch, and later in the deep after dropping a half-chance. The reasons for his long absence from the field could not be immediately ascertained as umpires Sanjeev Rao and SJ Phadkar declined to speak on the subject.

On the other hand, R.P. Singh worked hard for meagre returns and did not make much impression on the Kiwi batsmen until late in the day when, bowling his third spell, he picked up a wicket.

Among the other bowlers, neither left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja nor leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who is in the India Test squad, looked threatening despite finding a few edges as they sent down far too many loose balls that were swiftly put away.

Redmond batted quite competently for his century although like Guptill, he survived a few confident appeals for leg before and once even for caught behind.

Driving fluently and with confidence, Redmond wasted no opportunity to score and the best stroke he played was the huge six over mid-wicket off Mishra to move from 96 to 102, but he missed the line to be bowled by R.P. Singh.

With the pitch offering inconsistent bounce and the ball barely rising above the knee roll, both Redmond and Guptill were watchful and were in no hurry to up the pace of scoring.

India’s first breakthrough came after tea when Guptill, looking set for a century, mistimed a big hit off leg-spinner Amit Mishra to midwicket where Cheteshar Pujara took the catch.

Soon after, Kiwi skipper Peter Fulton was on his way back, edging Mishra to wicket keeper Wriddhiman Saha as New Zealand slid to 195 for two.

The dismissal of Redmond in the last hour gave Indians the hope of curtailing the Kiwi innings, but skipper Suresh Raina, at slips, dropped a sitter catch to give reprieve yp Greg Hay off left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja with the batsman on 33 in a total of 240.

India made five changes from the team that won the first Test earlier this week by including Pujara, Ganguly, R.P. Singh, Pradeep Sangwan and Jadeja.

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