September 25, 2022
Saurabh Kumar won the “Test Series” five times for India with a 113-run victory


Left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar took a five-wicket haul to play a big role in India A’s series win over New Zealand A in the third and final ‘Unofficial Test’ here on Sunday. A target of 416 was out of the question, but New Zealand A were looking to play for a draw at one point before they were bowled out for 302 in 85.2 overs for the loss of the last five for less than 50. Saurabh, who was out of the senior national team, had figures of 5/103 in 27.2 overs and took nine wickets in the first innings with four wickets in hand.

The interesting aspect of Saurabh’s scalp came through a leg-before decision, with at least a three-arm ball to the right-hander.

Sarfaraz Khan (2/48), who had a disappointing series with the bat, played a key role as his leg-break got rid of senior international Mark Chapman (45), who put on 82 for the fourth wicket with Centurion Joe. partnered. Carter (111).

More than the number of runs, the pair batted for 20 overs and took the game into the second session, with New Zealand A comfortably scoring 197 for three.

Chapman was dismissed while trying to attack Sarfaraz. The bowler got the second wicket with a googly that trapped Robert O’Donnell (19) in the front.

Once New Zealand were A 222/5 and a few hours of play left, it was easy for Saurabh to build up the pressure as he started attacking the stumps more, forcing the other Black Caps team to go on the defensive fell.

Carter, who had defied the Indian attack, was eventually cleared by Mukesh Kumar before Saurabh came back to trap Jacob Duffy leg.

Patidar, Mukesh shine

While the first two ‘Tests’ were cut short due to rain, India’s batting has been satisfactory throughout the series, with almost all specialist batsmen scoring runs.

Captain Priyank Panchal scored two fifties and a close of 50 (47), while his opening partner Abhimanyu Easwaran scored a century in the opening game.

But the man, who seemed to be the cut above the rest, was Rajat Patidar, who could outdo Sarfaraz Khan in the long run with regards to India’s call-up.

Patidar, who rose to stardom immediately after the last IPL, was different in his maiden India A series with two hundreds in three matches.

While Ruturaj Gaikwad redeemed himself in the final game with a century and 94, Sarfaraz is the only man who missed runs when it was crucial.

While he scored an aggressive half-century in the final Indian innings, Sarfaraz was the first to know that he did not score those runs under pressure.

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Among the bowlers, Bengal’s Mukesh Kumar was the surprise package as he consistently troubled New Zealand’s batsmen with the new ball in all games. Saurabh also placed himself in the claim of the Test team with this performance.

Brief Scores: India A 293 & 359/December 7 vs New Zealand A 237 & (Target 416) 302 (Joe Carter 111, Mark Chapman 45, Saurabh Kumar 5/103, Sarfaraz Khan 2/48).

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