| Manprit Juneja en route his unbeaten 178, on Wednesday |
Visakhapatnam: Young Gujarat batsman Manprit Juneja showed perfect temperament for the longer format, scoring a patient unbeaten 178 in India A’s first innings score of 408 for seven against New Zealand A at stumps on third day of the second four-day match, here, on Wednesday.
India A scored 314 runs in the day losing five wickets in the 86 overs.
A week short of his 23rd birthday, Juneja batted throughout the entire third day adding 135 runs to his overnight tally of 43. He also put on a huge 197-run third wicket stand with Vasudevan Jagadeesh (91).
Juneja then let his captain Abhishek Nayar (57) dominate in a quickfire 88-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Juneja on Wednesday faced 336 balls (equivalent to 56 overs) for his knock, which included 19 boundaries and a six.
Credit should also be given to Kerala opener Jagadeesh who played 200 deliveries for his 91, hitting nine boundaries in the process. He was finally castled by Doug Bracewell playing to a wrong line.
For New Zealand, pacer Bracewell was the most successful bowler, picking up three for 78.
India A, who trail New Zealand A by just 29 runs with three wickets remaining, will be hoping that Juneja scores a double century before the bowlers get another shot at the Kiwi line-up on the final day of the match on Thursday.
Juneja made the headlines couple of seasons back when he scored a double hundred on his Ranji Trophy debut, and his fifth first-class century on Wednesday in just 12 matches speaks volumes about the right-hander’s talent.
He has already impressed the national selectors with a couple of half-centuries for India U-23 in the recently concluded ACC Meet in Singapore.
The best part about Juneja’s innings was his unflappable concentration. He was ready to leave a lot of deliveries early on and waited patiently for the loose balls. He never looked in a hurry yet scored at a steady pace.
The most entertaining innings of the day was certainly played by Nayar, who faced 55 balls to score 57, smashing eight fours and a six before becoming Bracewell’s third victim of the day.
On the second day, New Zealand added another 137 runs to their overnight total of 300 for eight.
Overnight batsmen Doug Bracewell (96) and Ish Sodhi (57) put on 162 runs for the eight wicket to take New Zealand A to a commanding position in the final four-day match. (PTI)