New Zealand XI 262-9d. (O'Donnell 80) drew with
Indians 313-7 d. (Rahane 60, R Sharma 59)
Tour game, Whangerai
India batted out the second day of the tour match against a New Zealand XI in Whangarei, finishing at 313 for seven (in 93 overs), with half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane (60) and Rohit Sharma (59).
This was in reply to the hosts’ score of 262 for nine declared on the first day.
The Indian batting started from their overnight score of 41 without loss, with openers Shikhar Dhawan (16 not out) and Murali Vijay (19 not out) looking to bat for time. But they couldn’t stay at the wicket for a long duration, as both fell early in the first hour of play. Vijay was the first to go, bowled in the second over of the day, without adding to his score from the previous evening.
Dhawan needed to spend more time in the middle after his repetitive failures in the ODI series, but going for a third run, a misunderstanding with non-striker Cheteshwar Pujara meant that he was run out.
He scored 26 runs, off 68 balls, with four fours. New Zealand XI skipper Anton Devcich described the latter as 'the toughest Indian batsman to bowl to', and it certainly looked so while he batted for an hour and half, scoring 33 runs (66 balls, four fours) before he was out LBW to Roald Badenhorst (1-38).
It brought together Sharma and Rahane together at the crease, and the duo didn’t face much trouble as the pitch eased out under the bright sun. They added 99 runs on either side of lunch.
Post-break, Sharma brought up his half-century off 83 balls, with seven hits to the fence. Shortly afterwards, with the score on 192, he retired out after scoring 59 runs (101 balls, seven fours) to give a chance to Ambati Rayudu to get a feel for the conditions.
At the other end, Rahane too completed his half-century off 91 balls, with three fours and one six. With the Indian total past 200, he too walked off, having scored 60 runs off 97 balls (five fours, one six) and Wriddhiman Saha (4) came out to bat. The Bengal wicket-keeper couldn’t stay for long, as he was bowled by Jono Boult (1-74).
Ravichandran Ashwin then came to the crease and put on 66 runs with Rayudu, playing some exotic shots on both sides of the wicket. He scored 46 runs, off 57 balls, with six fours and two sixes, and was the last batsman out four overs before the end.
The match meandered and finished in the 93rd over, with Rayudu staying unbeaten on 49 in the end. He faced 93 balls and hit five fours, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3 not out) rounding up a decent outing with the bat for the visitors.
© Cricket World 2014