Thakur, Sen bring their ‘A’ game as India demolishes New Zealand

Thakur, Sen bring their ‘A’ game as India demolishes New Zealand

After India ‘A’ skipper Sanju Samson opted to field first on a surface that aided the fast bowlers in the morning, the new-ball duo of Thakur (4/32 off 8.2 overs) and Sen (3/30 off 7 overs) reduced the visitor to a paltry 27 for five in the eighth over.

CHENNAI: Pacers Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Sen ran through the New Zealand ‘A’ top-five as India ‘A’ recorded a comprehensive seven-wicket victory in the first of three one-dayers at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Thursday.

After India ‘A’ skipper Sanju Samson opted to field first on a surface that aided the fast bowlers in the morning, the new-ball duo of Thakur (4/32 off 8.2 overs) and Sen (3/30 off 7 overs) reduced the visitor to a paltry 27 for five in the eighth over. The home team continued to run the show until Michael Rippon (61 off 104 balls, 4 fours) and Joe Walker (36 off 49 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) saved New Zealand ‘A’ from embarrassment.

Despite their fighting 89-run alliance for the ninth wicket, the tourist could muster only 167 all-out in 40.2 overs. Chasing 168 to take a 1-0 lead, India ‘A’ romped home in just 31.5 overs, with Rajat Patidar top-scoring with an unbeaten 45 (41 balls, 7 fours).

Right on top from the start

Thakur began the assault in the third over when he cleaned up Chad Bowes (10) with a diamond of a delivery. In his next over – the fifth of the match – the senior India international removed No.3 Dane Cleaver (4), who found Sen at fine-leg.

Sen then joined the party as he sent Joe Carter, opener Rachin Ravindra and Tom Bruce back to the hut in a trice. Carter (1) was trapped leg before wicket and Ravindra (10) edged one to wicketkeeper Samson while Bruce (0) was caught in the slip cordon.

India ‘A’ ruled the roost, restricting New Zealand ‘A’ to 74 for eight, until the visiting side came up with lower-order resistance. At the venue that is situated not far from the historic Greater Chennai Corporation headquarters, Rippon ‘built’ an innings of substance.

Along with Walker, Rippon, who came out at No.8, gave the Robert O Donnell-led team a ray of hope with his battling knock. The pair managed to take New Zealand ‘A’ past the 150-run mark, but Rippon’s dismissal – he skied the ball which landed in the palms of Rishi Dhawan – brought the end to the tourist’s disappointing batting display.

India ‘A’ ensured there were no hiccups in the chase as the host reached its destination with 18.1 overs left in the bank. Besides Patidar, opening batter Ruturaj Gaikwad (41 off 54 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes), Rahul Tripathi (31 off 40 balls, 4 fours) and Samson (29 not out off 32 balls, 1 four, 3 sixes) gave the hundred-odd crowd reasons to celebrate.

BRIEF SCORES: New Zealand ‘A’ 167 in 40.2 overs (M Rippon 61, J Walker 36, S Thakur 4/32, K Sen 3/30) lost to India ‘A’ 170/3 in 31.5 overs (R Patidar 45*, R Gaikwad 41)

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