Board President XI in the 1st Practise match against New Zealand defeated the Kiwis by 30 runs to give them a reality check ahead of the ODI and the T20I series against India. Courtesy half-centuries from Prithvi Shaw, Lokesh Rahul and Karun Nair, Board President’s XI reached a score of 295/5 in their allotted 50 overs. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem bagged three wickets along with Jaydev Unadkat as New Zealand folded for 265 in 47.4 overs.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and put the Board President’s XI in. It was youngster Prithvi Shaw and currently out of the national side KL Rahul who opened the batting. Both began with a cautious approach and played out a few overs without scoring many runs but as they got the feel of the condition both struck some delightful shots and put the New Zealand bowlers on the backfoot.
Rahul played some outstanding shots square of the wicket and drove to perfection. The young Prithvi Shaw, on the other hand, gained in confidence with each ball and executed some excellent shots. He never looked in any discomfort and proved why he is a man for the future. The duo kept going and completed their half-centuries.
After sharing a brilliant opening partnership of 147 runs, Lokesh Rahul fell prey to leg-spinner Ish Sodhi as he attempted a big shot. His partner Prithvi Shaw too fell in quick succession as Board President’s XI was reduced to 151/2. Karun Nair and Shreyas Iyer came in the middle to resurrect the innings.
Captain Iyer couldn’t convert his fluent and was dismissed with the score reading 181. Karun Nair, on the other hand, looked in terrific touch and struck 12 fours during his quickfire innings of 78 of just 64 deliveries. He looked in ominous touch, and every shot came from the middle of his bat. The Board President XI who was set for a score well over 320 lost a heap of wickets during the last phase of the innings as the New Zealand bowlers restricted them to 295/5 in their allotted 50 overs. Left-arm seamer Trent Boult was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers finishing with 5/38 in 9 overs.
Dhawal Kulkarni provided the first break for the Board President’s XI when he removed Martin Guptill with a beautiful inswinger. Colin Munro and Kane Williamson shared a fluent partnership of 69 runs for the 2nd wickets but just when the Kiwis were looking set, Prithvi Shaw removed Colin Munro and leg-spinner Karn Sharma removed skipper Williamson to reduce the visitors to 107/3.
Southpaw Tom Latham scored a brilliant half-century, but the fall of wickets on a regular basis and no big partnership cost New Zealand the game in the end. Latham struck some delightful shots en route to his 58 and Colin de Grandhomme, and Mitchell Santner contributed with 33 and 26, but it wasn’t enough to help the visitors get over the line.
The pick of the bowlers for Board’s Presidents XI was Jaydev Unadkat and Shahbaz Nadeem who both chipped in with three wickets each.
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