India A vs New Zealand A, 1st Unofficial ODI: Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Sen As India A Thrash New Zealand A

An outstanding performance from medium pacers Shardul Thakur (4 for 32) and Kuldeep Sen (3 for 30) helped set up a seven-wicket win for India ‘A’ against New Zealand ‘A’ in the first unofficial ODI on Thursday. Sent at bat by India ‘A’ captain Sanju Samson, sharp bowling by Thakur and Sen had the visiting side in trouble from the start. At one point, the New Zealanders seemed to be in danger of being bundled to less than 100, but a rearguard fight from Michael Rippon (61, 104 balls, 4 fours) and Joe Walker (36, 49 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) helped they put 167 in 40.2 overs.

The Sanju Samson-led team improved the Kiwis’ goal to 31.5 overs, with the captain (31 not out, 1 four, 3 sixes) and Rajat Patidar (45, 41 balls, 7 fours) finishing the job.

There were also helpful contributions from opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (41, 54 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) and Rahul Tripathi (31, 40 balls, 4 fours).

Previously, on a throw that provided speed and bounce to the bowlers, Thakur struck out the first stroke by castling Chad Bowes (10) with NZ ‘A’ on 14 in the third over. In his next over, he had Dane Cleaver (4) captured by Sen.

Sen sprang into action by firing Joe Carter (1) and Rachin Ravindra (10) in the space of three balls to leave the Kiwis at 26 for 4.

In his next over, Sen sent Tom Bruce away for a duck to leave the opposition in ruins at 27 to 5.

Captain Robert O’Donnell and Sean Solia set out to revive the innings, bringing the score to 51 before the latter was eliminated by Rishi Dhawan.

O’ Donnell hit 39 balls for his 21 before snatching one for “keeper Samson.” Logan Van Beek (1) fell to Kuldeep Yadav and NZ ‘A’ dropped to 74 for 8.

Rippon was joined by Walker, an off-spinner, and the duo slowly but surely began to fight. Rippon was the more careful of the two, collecting runs and hitting 50 from 82 balls.

No.10 batter Walker skipped the first six of the game in the 29th, with Shahbaz Ahmed slogging down the wicket halfway through.

The duo took the score past 150 and looked good for some more before Rajat Patidar’s throw from the cover hit Walker short of the fold. The Rippon-Walker partnership for the ninth wicket yielded 89 runs and yielded the total respectively.

Rippon fell to Thakur for a well put together 61 while the Kiwis folded for 167.

In response, Gaikwad struck in an enterprising manner, even though the usually aggressive Prithvi Shaw (17, 24 balls, 1 six) was cautious.

Gaikwad hit a few boundaries and a six and kept the scoreboard ticking. Tripathi, who came in after Shaw’s dismissal to Matthew Fisher, got runs without taking too many risks.

Ruturaj missed a fifty, fell to a catch and threw left-arm spinner Rippon (1 for 28).

Medium pacer Lorgan Verjus van Beek (1 for 38) threw Tripathi before Samson and Patidar took over and watched the team go home.

Patidar, who has been in good form lately and bagged a ton in the unofficial Test against New Zealand ‘A’, played some attractive shots in his unbeaten 45 (41 balls, 7 fours).

Samson closed the game with a big six.


After the match, Thakur, the star player, said he was surprised to see New Zealand lose five wickets in the PowerPlay. “Because of the 9:00 am start, there was something in the air that we could exploit,” he added.

Short Scores: New Zealand ‘A’ 167 all out in 40.2 overs (Michael Rippon 61, Joe Walker 36, Robert O’Donnell 22, Shardul Thakur 4 for 32, Kuldeep Sen 3 for 30) lost to India ‘A’ 170 for 3 in 31.5 overs (Rajat Patidar 45 not out, Ruturaj Gaikwad 41, Rahul Tripathi 31, Sanju Samson 29 not out).

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