Indians trail New Zealand XI by 221 runs
Indians trailed New Zealand XI by 221 runs at the end of the first day's play in their two-day practice match at the Cobham Oval here Sunday.
After electing to bat first, New Zealand XI could only manage 262 before being bowled out by the Indians in 78 overs. At close of play, the visitors had totted up 41 runs without losing any wicket with openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan unbeaten on 19 and 16, respectively.
The hosts started well with openers George Worker (33) and Robert O'Donnel (80) notching an 81-run partnership. The Indians came back after the 30th over clinching the wickets of Worker and skipper Anton Devcich (9) in quick succession. But O'Donnell and Jono Hickey (45) combined well to put on another 57 runs for the third wicket.
O'Donnell perished off an Ishant Sharma delivery after playing a steady knock which included 13 boundaries. Thereon, the Indians bowlers did well to bowl out the hosts for another 113 runs.
Madhya Pradesh pacer Ishwar Pandey (3/42), Ishant Sharma (2/58) and offie Ravichandran Ashwin (2/42) ripped through the New Zealand XI middle-order.
Hickey tried to anchor the innings but ran out of support and it was only Roald Badenhorst who provided some spark towards the end with an innings of 34 which consisted of six boundaries.
Pacers Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav also snared a wicket each before the Indians took to the crease.
The two-match Test series between India and New Zealand will start Feb 6 at Eden Park, Auckland. Earlier, India lost the One-Day International Series 0-4 to New Zealand.
(Posted on 02-02-2014)