Manprit Juneja narrowly missed out on a well-deserved double hundred for India 'A' while the New Zealand 'A' top-order got some much needed batting practice as the second unofficial 'Test' between the two sides finished in a dull draw, in Visakhapatnam, on Thursday.
In reply to New Zealand's first innings score of 437, the Indians finished their first innings seven runs short at 430. In their second innings, the Kiwis finished at 176 for three in 51.2 overs before both captains agreed to settle for a draw.
The only interest in final day's play was whether young Juneja would get to score his second first-class double hundred but seamer Mark Gillespie (4/80 from 29.3 overs) had him caught by Corey Anderson for 193, which included 20 fours and a six in 362 balls.
Gillespie used his slower delivery to good effect to have Dhawal Kulkarni caught and bowled for 10. Juneja was the next man out, while Imtiaz Ahmed was also castled by him as he finished with four wickets in the match.
With a result out of question, New Zealand 'A' skipper Tom Latham put his head down to get some useful batting practice, scoring a patient 61.
After Neil Broom (0) was trapped leg before wicket by Kulkarni, Latham in company of Carl Cachopa (76) added 128 runs for the second wicket and the contest was as good as
over. Left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhurv (2/45) removed the two set batsmen in successive overs but it was too late in the day.
The two 'Test' series had some positives for the Indian team as far as their batting reserves are concerned. Young India U-19 skipper Vijay Zol announced his arrival in the
first-class arena with a century, Juneja showed why he is rated so highly in the domestic circuit when it comes to days' cricket.
Kerala opener Vasudevan Jagadeesh also showed glimpses of his talent with a gritty knock.
The biggest disappointment was Delhi's Unmukt Chand who failed to even reach double figures in the two matches. He also had a disastrous ACC Emerging Trophy campaign in Singapore where he scored only against Pakistan. His sequence of scores in the last five games (List A and first-class) reads: 10, 0, 15, 4, 4.
Unmukt will hope to end his poor run in the upcoming three-match One-Day series where he has been entrusted with the responsibility of leading the side.
The first match also the same venue had also finished in a draw.
New Zealand 'A': 437 & 176/3 (Tom Latham 61, Carl Cachopa 76, Rakesh Dhurv 2/45)
India 'A' 1st innings: 430 (Manprit Juneja 193, Vasudevan Jagadeesh 91, Abhishek Nayar 58, Mark Gillespie 4/80, Doug Bracewell 3/88).
Image: Dhawal Kulkarni celebrates the wicket of Neil Broom.
Photograph: Andhra Cricket Association