Riding on India discard Robin Uthappa's century and his match winning stand with skipper Unmukt Chand (94) in the first match, the Indian team overhauled the target with six wickets to spare, after two matches of the unofficial Test series ended in tame draws. (Agencies)
Uthappa, who is in ODI exile, would be hoping to produce another sparkling show to catch the eyes of national selectors with limited overs series against West Indies and South Africa in sight.
Unmukt would be disappointed on losing out on a three figure mark but after his twin failures in the Test series, the flamboyant knock on Sunday signalled his return to form. The 20-year-old looked at ease and thrashed Kiwi bowlers all around the park and set up the Indian victory by adding 178 runs for the first wicket.
Though the Indian middle-order didn't have much to do in the first match, the likes of Rajasthan left-hander Ashok Menaria, Maharashtra's Kedar Jadhav and talented batsman Sanju Samson of Kerala would be itching to deliver whenever the opportunity comes.
The bowlers too stuck to a disciplined line and length and kept a check on the New Zealand A batsmen's scoring rate, making their team's task easier after they were asked to field.
Dhawal Kulkarni, Ashok Menaria and Rahul Sharma finished with three scalps each and a similar performance would be expected of them in the next game.
New Zealand, on the other hand, would be hoping for a better show from their top-order batsmen who all got starts but failed to convert them into big scores.
Anton Devcich (48), Carl Cachopa (45) and Tom Latham (37) squandered their positive starts, giving India an upper hand. Corey Anderson, centurion in the second Test, too failed to counter the Indian spinners like his other top-order mates.
Adam Milne (3 for 43) was the best Kiwi bowler in the last game, and he along with his skipper Andrew Ellis would aim to make early inroads into the Indian batting line-up to put pressure on the relatively inexperienced middle-order.
India: Unmukt Chand (captain), Robin Uthappa, Aditya Tare, (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh, Ashok Menaria, Sanju Samson (wk), Sachin Baby, Dhawal Kulkarni, Basant Mohanty, Sandeep Sharma, Shrikant Wagh, Rahul Sharma, Jalaj Saxena.
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Luke Ronchi, Matthew Henry, Anton Devcich, Andrew Ellis (captain), Colin Munro, Scoot Kuggeleijn, Corey Anderson, Carl Cachopa, Todd Astle, Mark Gillespie, Doug Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne.
Riding on India discard Robin Uthappa's century and his match winning stand with skipper Unmukt Chand (94) in the first match, the Indian team overhauled the target with six wickets to spare, after two matches of the unofficial Test series ended in tame draws.