Saxena, Ronchi dazzle
Clear skies and bright sunshine greeted the sparse crowd during the second day's play between India 'A' and New Zealand 'A' at the Visakhapatnam Port...
Visakhapatnam: Clear skies and bright sunshine greeted the sparse crowd during the second day's play between India 'A' and New Zealand 'A' at the Visakhapatnam Port Stadium here on Thursday. At stumps, Jalaj Saxena and Luke Ronchi shared the honours with their individual exploits with the ball and bat respectively.
After a delayed start, the Kiwis won the toss and elected to bat. They were off to a slow start while going to lunch at 36/1. Resuming after lunch, the visitors lost wickets at regular intervals and were down to a pitiable 106/6, thanks to the wrecker-in-chief Jalaj Saxena, whose top class off-spin had the batsmen in knots. The Madhya Pradesh lad was too hot to handle for the batsmen.
Apparently, at that point in time, the hosts did not reckon with the batting prowess of Luke Ronchi, whose advent changed the complexion of the game. Ronchi and Todd Astle (63) came to their rescue with some lusty hitting. Ronchi’s blistering knock of 125 was laced with 16 hits to the fence and four towering heaves over the ropes. The quick-fire 146-run partnership saw the visitors reach a respectable first innings score of 310. Another noteworthy partnership for the Kiwis was the 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Ronchi and James Neesham (27).
Earlier in the day, the Indians were on the dot. Their pacers were quick, bowling a tight line and length but as the day progressed they failed to consolidate the momentum. India had another unfortunate blow when star player, Unmukt Chand fell to Todd with the team score at four. India was six for one wicket at close of play. Meanwhile, tight security in place with even the media personnel subject to a thorough check. Brief scores: New Zealand 'A' 310 (Luke Ronchi 125, James Neesham 27, Todd Astle 63, Rakesh Dhruv 2/25, Jalaj Saxena 6/106) vs India ‘A’ 6 for one.