Rajat Patidar (41-ball 45) and Shardul Thakur (4-32) both contributed significantly to India ‘A’s seven-wicket victory over New Zealand ‘A’ on Thursday in their maiden one-day encounter at Chepauk. Shardul and fellow medium-pacer Kuldeep Sen (3-30) worked well together to dismiss the guests for 167. In response, Patidar, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (41) and Rahul Tripathi (31) saw to it that the hosts won by 109 balls.
Within 7.3 overs of the match, Shardul and Kuldeep had the Kiwi side reeling at 27 for 5. By dismissing the game’s first batsman, Chad Bowes (10) in the third over, Shardul gave the visitors the upper hand. Operating from the opposite end, Kuldeep kept a tight rein on the batsmen as well. As they slid to 74 for 8 in the 19th over and were in danger of being bowled out for a low total, the Kiwis’ predicament only worsened. However, Michael Rippon (61, 4×4) and Joe Walker (36), who joined forces, gave the New Zealand total some respectability with an 89-run stand for the 9th wicket.
In their 126-deliver stand, Rippon and Walker both managed to hold off the India ‘A’ bowlers. The partnership was broken when Walker was run out in the 39th over, and then Shardul dismissed Rippon by having him caught by Rishi Dhawan to put an end to the Kiwis’ innings.
Shardul believed the early wicket-taking set the tone for the game. It was a fantastic batting surface, but we were lucky to take wickets quickly, which was very helpful. They didn’t lose as many wickets as we had anticipated (early on). The wicket had something in it for the bowlers during the opening hour of the game because it started at 9am, and we were able to take advantage of that, Shardul remarked following the game.