Yusuf, Raina star in India A win over New Zealand A (Lead)

September 21st, 2008 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 21 (IANS) India A posted a comfortable 81-run win against New Zealand A to register their second win in the tri-series cricket tournament here Sunday.The Indians, who had beaten the Kiwis in the first round of matches at Hyderabad last week, rode on Yusuf Pathan’s rollicking century (148) to recover from 66 for five to 305 for eight in 50 overs. Later, Suresh Raina with his off-breaks, claimed four wickets to put the Kiwis under pressure before they were bowled out for 224.

Barring James Marshall (51) and skipper Peter Fulton (42), none of the Kiwi batsmen really got going.

After the Indian pacemen made early inroads, the spinners took charge and Piyush Chawla proved to be an ideal foil for Raina, with the pair causing irreparable damage to the Kiwi innings by picking up wickets at regular intervals.

Earlier in the day, it was more a case of New Zealand’s fielding versus India’s batting when play began on time despite overnight showers.

Three run outs inside of the first 11 overs, besides Uthappa’s cheap dismissal off Gillespie, put the Indians on the backfoot.

With India tottering, Yusuf and Rohit Sharma came together in the 12th over to stitch together 105-runs for the sixth wicket in 22.1 overs and steadied the Indian innings.

The Kiwi ground fielding was spot-on. In contrast, the Indian batsmen suffered from indecision and poor communication, leading to the dismissals of Asnodkar, Badrinath and Raina, although runs were coming freely, mostly from boundaries and sixes.

Pathan played a fluent knock while Rohit chipped in with some sensible batting.

Mark Gillespie, bowling a persistent line, then forced an edge off Rohit for his second wicket to snap the partnership.

Thereafter, the Pathan brothers, Yusuf and Irfan, who survived a confident leg-before appeal off Gillespie when on nought, batted freely as the runs came in a torrent with 200 coming up in the 41st over.

The siblings added 59 runs in 9.5 overs for the seventh wicket before Irfan offered a tame return catch to Neil Broom for a well-made 31.

However, there was no respite for the Kiwis as Yusuf cut loose, taking 25 runs off Neil Broom in the 46th over and completing his century with the first of two sixes he hit in the over.

With Yusuf continuing in the same vein, India crossed the 300-mark before he holed Broom to long off in the last ball of the innings after adding 75 runs for the eighth wicket with Chawla (16).

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