Jagadeesh, Juneja steady India

Vasudevan Jagadeesh (40) and Manprit Juneja (43) stitched an unbeaten 78-run stand to help India ‘A’ reach 94 for two at stumps on day two of the second and final unofficial ‘Test’ against New Zealand ‘A’ at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium here on Tuesday.

India ‘A’ still have an uphill task at hands as the hosts are trailing by 343 runs with eight wickets remaining in their first innings.

Earlier, New Zealand after resuming their first innings at 300 for eight, added another 137 runs before getting dismissed for 437 in 121.1 overs.

Overnight batsmen Doug Bracewell (96) and Ish Sodhi (57) put on 162 runs for the eight wicket to take New Zealand to a commanding position in the four-day match.
The Indian bowlers failed to make inroads even as Bracewell and Sodhi went about their business with ease.

After 31.3 overs, Abhishek Nayar finally got the breakthrough when he cleaned up Bracewell with the batsman just four runs short of a century. Bracewell hit 11 fours and a six in his 132-ball innings.

Pacer Dhawal Kulkarni then picked up Sodhi in his first delivery of the next over to bring New Zealand A’s innings to an end. Sodhi played a patient innings bringing up his 57 in 142 balls with the help of three boundaries.

With New Zealanders piling up a massive score, a lot was expected from Unmukt Chand, who had captained India Under-19 to victory in the 2012 World Cup. But the opener made just four runs before he was sent packing by Mark Gillespie in the fifth over of the India A’s innings.

Centurion of the last match, young Vijay Zol too could not continue his good form and was dismissed by Bracewell in the 13th over with India A reeling at 16 for two.

Jagadeesh and Juneja then steadied the ship with an unbeaten partnership. The duo showed a lot of maturity, handling the opposition bowlers deftly to keep the team afloat.
Brief scores: New Zealand ‘A’: 437 (Doug Bracewell 96, Ish Sodhi 57; Dhawal Kulkarni 3-53) vs India ‘A’: 94/2 (Vasudevan Jagadeesh 40 n.o., Manprit Juneja 43 n.o.).

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