Spinners Saurabh Kumar, Rahul Chahar hand host 1st innings lead
BENGALURU: The spin duo of Saurabh Kumar and Rahul Chahar sparkled to bundle New Zealand ‘A’ out for 237 and hand India ‘A’ the first innings lead on the second day of the third unofficial Test here on Friday.
Left-arm orthodox bowler Saurabh (4/48 off 17.2 overs) and leg-spinner Chahar (3/53 off 14 overs) shared seven wickets between them to bowl New Zealand ‘A’ out in 71.2 overs and give India ‘A’ a cushion of 56 runs. At stumps, India ‘A’ was 40 for one in 11 overs in its second innings, extending its overall lead to 96 runs.
Abhimanyu Easwaran (4) was the lone India ‘A’ wicket to fall as he was trapped leg before wicket by left-arm pacer Sean Solia (1/20). Ruturaj Gaikwad, who scored a century in the first innings, was batting on 18 in the company of skipper Priyank Panchal (17 batting).
Earlier, New Zealand ‘A’ made a torrid start while replying to the host’s first innings total of 293, losing half of its team inside 100 runs. After Shardul Thakur (1/33) and Mukesh Kumar (2/48) provided the initial breakthroughs, Chahar joined the party with the wickets of Dane Cleaver (34) and captain Tom Bruce (13) to reduce New Zealand ‘A’ to 99 for five.
But, the Hong Kong-born Mark Chapman and Solia resurrected the visitor’s innings, stitching 114 runs for the sixth wicket. While Chapman made a quick-fire 92 off 115 balls, with the help of eight fours and two maximums, Solia came up with a 54-run (111 balls) knock that was decorated with seven fours.
However, Saurabh broke the dangerous-looking partnership with the scalp of Chapman in the 62nd over. The left-arm spinner then dismissed two more batters – Solia and Joe Walker (2) – in the 66th over to hand India ‘A’ the upper hand. Spin twins Chahar and Saurabh later wrapped up the New Zealand ‘A’ innings in no time.
BRIEF SCORES: India ‘A’ 293 & 40/1 in 11 overs vs New Zealand ‘A’ 237 in 71.2 overs (M Chapman 92, S Solia 54, Saurabh 4/48, R Chahar 3/53)