New Zealand A's batting crumbled yet again as it folded for 211 in its first innings after choosing to bat in bowler-friendly playing conditions in the second four-day 'Test' against India A here.
The innings may have ended even earlier than it did had it not been for a patient knock from opener Jeet Raval (48, 105b, 8 x 4) and the flamboyance of the hard-hitting Colin Munro (65, 82b, 8 x 4, 2 x 6). In reply, India A was 33 for one at close when bad light stopped play after nine overs.
The early dent into the visitor's batting was made by Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur, whose lively first spell of 6-4-10-2 accounted for opener George Worker and Henry Nicholls. Worker was caught behind by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel - filling in for the indisposed Rishabh Pant - who dived to his left to latch on to the snick, while Nicholls failed to negotiate an inswinger to be bowled.
These blows in the seventh over of the innings effectively pushed Kiwis on to the back foot. A fighting partnership of 82 for the fourth wicket between Raval and Munro helped provide resistance.
While Raval was cautious to start with before opening up, Munro gave glimpses of his big-hitting ability when he hit effortlessly left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem over long-on besides playing other exquisite strokes. He was visibly dejected when declared caught behind off Nadeem with team score reading 150 for 6 in 46th over.
Later, wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert's gritty knock (44 not out, 86b, 5 x 4) helped New Zealand post a modest total before being bowled out in 15.5 overs after tea.
For India A, the spin duo of leggie Karn Sharma and Nadeem were effective once again in striking at regular intervals. Pacer Navdeep Saini also bowled well but was unlucky as despite beating the batsmen repeatedly with this teasing off-stump line he couldn't manage to induce any edge.
New Zealand A 211 (Munro 65, Raval 48, Seifert 44 not out; Shardul 3 for 43, Karn 3 for 49) leads India A 33 for 1 by 178 runs.
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