India ‘A’s push for a result could not come through as New Zealand ‘A’ escaped with a draw on the fourth and final day of the first unofficial cricket Test here on Saturday.

The Indians declared their second innings at 208 for four after facing 50 overs, setting the hosts a target of 314 at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval.

In reply, the Kiwis managed to sneak away with a draw after finishing the day at 273 for eight.

Overnight 137 for two, the Indians played 14 more overs and accelerated the scoring to reach 208 for four. Anustup Majumdar struck a 101-ball 58, including seven fours, and was ably supported by the middle order which picked up the pace of scoring.

Naman Ojha’s 12-ball unbeaten 21, which was studded with three fours and a six, was a crucial contribution to the total.

For the Kiwis, Brent Arnel was the pick of the bowlers grabbing three for 40, including Majumdar whose dismissal prompted the Indian declaration.

Chasing the stiff target, the host was dealt an early blow when first innings centurion Tom Latham went back after making just 14 runs. But Geroge Worker (89) and Neil Broom (72) helped the team recover from the blow with a solid 149-run partnership for the third wicket.

At 164 for one at lunch, the Kiwis were beginning to look in the hunt for a win but the Indians got thebreakthrough when Jaydev Unadkat clinched Broom’s wicket.

Six overs later, Worker was sent back by R. Vinay Kumar.

The duo’s departure triggered a collapse as the Kiwi middle order failed to rise to the occasion. Luke Woodcock (26) and Sam Wells (32) came up with decent efforts but the rest of the line-up crumbled and the hosts ended up being lucky to clinch a draw.

The scores: India ‘A’ 339 and 208 for four decl. in 50 overs (Mukund 41, Majumdar 58, Mandeep 38, Rayudu 26, Arnel three for 40) drew with New Zealand ‘A’ 234 for eight decl and 273 for eight in 62 overs (Worker 89, Broom 72, Woodcock 26, Wells 32, Vinay Kumar three for 47).

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