Skipper Priyank Panchal‘s dogged 87 and a fighting unbeaten 74 by keeper Kona Srikar Bharat took India A to 229 for six on the second day of the rain-hit second unofficial Test against New Zealand. After the first day’s play was called off due to rain, the truncated second day saw 66 overs being bowled, and most of the top and middle-order batters failed to make an impression. Skipper Panchal’s knock came off 148 balls, with 12 fours and two sixes, while Bharat’s unbeaten knock saw him face 104 balls while hitting 10 boundaries.
The Panchal-Bharat duo rescued India A with a 117-run fifth-wicket stand after they were left in a tangle at 68 for four.
The three centurions from the previous ‘Test’ — Abhimanyu Easwaran (22), middle-order batter Rajat Patidar (4) and NT Tilak Varma (0) — were dismissed cheaply while Ruturaj Gaikwad (5) endured his second failure of the series.
Shardul Thakur (26), a late addition to the squad was involved in a 38-run stand with Bharat to take India A past the 200-run mark.
Panchal and Easwaran had started off on a positive note having put on 37 runs at the stroke of first hour.
Easwaran had done the bulk of the scoring till then with five boundaries before right-arm pacer Van Beek, who came in as one-change, had the opener caught in the slips by skipper Tom Bruce.
Another away going delivery from Van Beek saw Gaikwad edging one to keeper Cam fletcher behind the stumps.
Patidar, who became restless having played 16 dot balls, was done in by Duffy, who got a return catch.
In his second spell, Duffy coming round the wicket had Tilak’s defence breached.
However, Panchal and Bharat didn’t curb their strokeplay as they scored 117 runs in just over 25 overs at a rate of more than 4.5 runs per over, before the skipper was dismissed by Solia.
Brief scores: India A 229/6 (Priyank Panchal 87, KS Bharat 74 batting, Logan Van Beek 2/39, Jacob Duffy 2/55) vs NZ A.
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