Promising batter Tilak Varma scored his maiden first- class hundred while Kuldeep Yadav bowled with much more control as the first ‘unofficial Test’ between India A and New Zealand A ended in a draw on Sunday. The match ended after New Zealand scored 133 for 4 in their second innings. This was after India A skipper Priyank Panchal declared his team’s innings at 571 for 6 with Tilak becoming the third centurion of the innings with a fine 121 off 183 balls.
The highlight of Indian bowling was Kuldeep Yadav’s 2/38 in 22 overs. While the match meandered towards a draw, the left-arm wrist spinner did his cause no harm, bowling with a lot more control and precision compared to his first innings effort when he gave away 119 runs in 34 overs.
The delivery to get rid of right-handed opener Chad Bowes (5 off 20 balls) was a classic left-arm wrist spinner’s googly.
Bowes pressed forward to play a defensive stroke but saw the delivery turn away after pitching and the edge was taken at slips by Ruturaj Gaikwad.
He also trapped Mark Chapman plumb in-front but what was heartening to see in the second innings was the way he varied the pace of his deliveries and gave the ball air.
The best part about the match was Kuldeep adding miles to his legs with a total of 56 overs in the game. He will at least play one more ‘Test’ among the remaining two (as Rahul Chahar is set to get a game) and then play domestic cricket for UP before going for the Bangladesh tour.
Tilak shines on India A debut
Tilak had played only four first-class games before this ‘unofficial Test’ and his highest score was 90.
But on the day, he completed a well-deserved ton, first of the many that one would expect from the blade of the young turk from Hyderabad.
The left-handed batter, who made a name for himself in this year’s IPL with Mumbai Indians, hit nine fours and six sixes.
While one needs to factor in that Easwaran (132) batted against the new ball and set the foundation while Patidar (176) literally hammered the New Zealand A bowlers into submission.
However, one can’t discount Tilak’s effort just because the pressure was a bit less with India A already in a comfortable position.
Brief Scores: New Zealand A 400 and 133/4 in 61 overs (Rachin Ravindra 40, Kuldeep Yadav 2/38). India A 571/6 (Abhimanyu Easwaran 132, Rajat Patidar 176, NT Tilak Varma 121).
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