NZ A lose hard fought opening match

India A have beaten New Zealand A by three wickets in the first One Day match at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln.

The visitors finished strongly to successfully chase down New Zealand’s 176 after 47.2 overs.

India was on track early in their pursuit, putting on 52 for the opening wicket. Mitchell McClenaghan broke through in the 15th over with the wicket of Abhinav Mukund.

That dismissal saw a mini collapse ensue for India, as the New Zealand bowling attack began to gain the momentum.

The match was evenly poised with India 129 for six, before some explosive late hitting from Rahul Sharma all but assured his side’s victory.

With India needing eight runs to win Sharma was out having found an edge off the bowling of Colin de Grandhomme, but it made little difference as India went on to seal the win with a boundary.

All of the New Zealand bowlers were economical, but it was McClenaghan who was the pick of them with figures of three for 42 from ten overs.

Earlier, the New Zealand side had lost the toss and found themselves in trouble at 54 for six after 17.1 overs.

Opening bowlers Vinay Kumar and Jaydev Unadkat applied consistent pressure and were rewarded at the start of the sixth over with the wicket of Hamish Rutherford.

That triggered a collapse for the home side, with the next four batsmen falling for a combined total of 28 runs.

Captain Andrew Ellis and wicketkeeper Derek de Boorder fought back courageously for New Zealand though, putting on 80 for the seventh wicket.

A run out in the 40th over ended the partnership with Ellis found short of his ground on 45. De Boorder remained though, going on to bring up a crucial half century and in doing so carrying New Zealand to the 170 mark.

He eventually fell in the 47th over for 62, before Mitchell McClenaghan’s dismissal with ten balls remaining saw the end of the New Zealand innings. 

Unadkat was the chief wicket taker for India with figures of four for 44 from ten overs.

The two teams square off in the second One Day match on Friday.

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