Vijayawada: India A’s spin duo of Karn Sharma, the leggie, and Shahbaz Nadeem, the left-armer, spelled doom for New Zealand A once again, bowling the visiting side out for 210 in 79.3 overs to seal an innings-and-26-run win at the Dr Gokaraju Liala Gangaaraju ACA Cricket Ground in Vijayawada on Tuesday (October 3).
India A thus swept the unofficial ‘Test’ series 2-0, having won the first match at the same venue by an innings and 31 runs.
New Zealand had begun their second innings promisingly, ending the third day on 104 for 1 in 40 overs after conceding a lead of 236 on the first innings. But Karn (5 for 78) and Nadeem (4 for 41) ensured things unravelled quickly for the visitors. Henry Nicholls, overnight on 55, continued to resist before he was sixth out for 94, falling to a combination of the two spinners – caught by Nadeem off Karn’s bowling. The rest of the batting line-up crumbled.
New Zealand had gone into lunch on the fourth and final day on a reasonably healthy 167 for 3, but with two wickets in the first two overs after the break, the resistance fell apart. None of the batsmen from No. 6 downwards got into double figures, with the spin duo too tough to handle once again. While Karn ended with 16 wickets in the two-Test series with eight in each match, Nadeem had 14 sticks, with eight in the first and six in the second. Together, they accounted for 30 of the 39 wickets New Zealand lost to bowlers, with one run-out.
At the start of the day, Nicholls and Jeet Raval extended the total to 124 before Nadeem trapped Raval lbw for 47, bringing a 105-run second-wicket stand to an end. Will Young stuck around for a bit before he was caught off Karn just before lunch. New Zealand would have expected Colin Munro, who top-scored with 65 in the first innings, to provide stability but he was the first one to fall post lunch, lbw to Karn. Munro had played an attacking game in the first innings and possibly wanted to carry on with the method that brought him success, but he could make only 13 this time, off 11 balls.
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