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Saurabh Kumar stars as India ‘A’ beat New Zealand ‘A’ to win series | Cricket News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Riding on a five-wicket haul from left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar, India ‘A’ won the final four-day match against New Zealand ‘A’ by 113 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday.
With the first two matches ending in a draw, the Priyank Panchal-led side clinched the series 1-0. Set a target of 416 runs, the visitors folded up for 302 in 85.2 overs with opener Joe Carter’s valiant century (111, 230b, 12×4, 1×6) going in vain.
Resuming the day on 20/1, New Zealand ‘A’ lost night-watchman Joe Walker early in the chase with medium pacer Shardul Thakur uprooting his stumps in the fifth over.
But Carter, in the company of Dane Cleaver (44), resurrected the innings with an 85-run partnership.
Saurabh, who bowled a disciplined line and length throughout the innings, reaped the rewards when he trapped Cleaver leg before. Mark Chapman (45) then made the home team bowlers toil, and to India’s disadvantage, they were one bowler short with Rahul Chahar walking out with a niggle after bowling just one over.
Given the fact that the ball was keeping low and offered appreciable turn, the leggie could have helped India wrap up the match early. The visitors battled hard to save the match and were 221/4 at tea.
The advantage swung in the hosts favour in the final session, with Saurabh extracting good purchase from the wicket by varying his pace. He found ample support from part-time spinner Sarfaraz Khan (2/48), who accounted for dangerman Chapman and Robert Donnell.
Carter then brought up his century in style by dispatching a Saurabh delivery to the long-on boundary. New Zealand lower order struggled with the low deliveries and leg-before dismissals were the order of the day.
Pleased with the team’s performance, head coach Shitanshu Kotak highlighted the importance of the series.
“For us it is a development programme. We want the players to get that platform from where they can get into the senior team. We try to rotate players and give opportunities every series. We don’t always look to win the games, but with the quality of players, we haven’t lost a series in the last 3-4 years. We won three series and a couple were drawn.”
SCORES: India ‘A’ 293 & 359/7 declared beat New Zealand ‘A’ 237 & 302 in 85.2 overs (Joe Carter 111, Mark Chapman 45; Saurabh Kumar 5-103, Sarfaraz Khan 2-48)

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