Robin Uthappa (103) and captain Unmukt Chand (94) helped India ‘A’ register a comprehensive six-wicket win over New Zealand ‘A’ in the first ODI at the ACA-VDCA Stadium here on Sunday.
The duo made good use of the batting track and their 178-run opening stand dashed any hope New Zealand had entertained of defending 257. The Kiwi bowlers failed miserably with leg-spinner Ish Sodhi conceding 66 runs in eight overs.
After a disappointing show in the four-day games, Unmukt Chand struck form, slamming two sixes and one four in Sodhi’s over; two fours off medium-pacer Colin Munro. He moved into the nineties with two fours and a six off left-arm spinner Anton Devcich.
When he looked set to register his maiden century in list ‘A’ matches, a poor shot selection had him caught at mid-wicket by Tom Latham.
Even after his partner departed, Uthappa continued to dominate. The 27-year-old, who is trying to get back into the Indian team, reached his century by slamming medium-pacer Adam Milne over square-leg fence.
Earlier, the Karnataka batsman survived a chance when Matthew Henry dropped him at third man off the same bowler. In the following over, Milne had the satisfaction of removing the batsman when Colin Munro held Uthappa’s flick with ease at fine leg.
Uthappa had added 48 with Aditya Tare for the second wicket. The Kiwis came back with two quick wickets, but Tare played a sensible knock to take the team past New Zealand ‘A’s 257.
New Zealand ‘A’, after opting to bat first, scored some quick runs early in the innings thanks to Anton Devcich and Carl Cachopa.
Tom Latham also played well, but the team lost wickets at regular intervals. Pace bowler Dhawal Kulkarni, left-arm spinner Ashok Maneria and leg-spinner Rahul Sharma claimed three wickets apiece.
New Zealand A 257 in 49.4 overs (Daryl Mitchell 51, Anton Devcich 48, Carl Cachopa 45, Tom Latham 37, Ish Sodhi 29, Dhawal Kulkarni three for 38, Ashok Maneria three for 43, Rahul Sharma three for 45) lost to India A 261 for four in 44.1 overs (Robin Uthappa 103, Unmukt Chand 94, Aditya Tare 37 n.o., Adam Milne three for 43).