Lincoln, New Zealand: India A's push for a result could not come through as New Zealand A escaped with a draw on the fourth and final day of the first unofficial Test here on Saturday. The Indians declared their second innings at 208 for 4 after facing 50 overs, setting the host team a target of 314 at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval.
In reply, the Kiwis managed to sneak away with a draw after finishing the day at 273 for 8. Overnight 137/2, the Indians played 14 more overs on Saturday and accelerated the scoring to reach 208 for 4. Anustup Majumdar struck a 101-ball 58, including seven fours, and was ably supported by the middle order which picked up the pace of scoring. Naman Ojha's 12-ball unbeaten 21, which was studded with three fours and a six, was a crucial contribution to the total.
For the Kiwis, Brent Arnel was the pick of the bowlers grabbing 3 for 40 in his 13 overs, including Majumdar whose dismissal prompted the Indian declaration.
Chasing the stiff target, the hosts were dealt an early blow when first-innings centurion Tom Latham went back after making just 14 runs. But George Worker (89) and Neil Broom (72) helped the team recover from the blow with a solid 149-run partnership for the third wicket. Worker took 144 deliveries for his knock that comprised 10 fours and a six. Broom's scoring rate, however, was more brisk as he faced 94 balls and managed to strike eight fours.
At 164 for 1 at lunch, the Kiwis were beginning to look in the hunt for a win but the Indians got the all-important breakthrough soon after the break when Jayden Unadkat clinched Broom's wicket. Six overs later, Worker too made his way back to pavilion after being castled by R Vinay Kumar.
The duo's departure triggered a collapse as the Kiwi middle order failed to rise to the occasion. Luke Woodcock (26) and Sam Wells (32) came up with decent efforts but the rest of the line-up crumbled and the hosts ended up being lucky to clinch a draw.
The second match of the series will be played here from October 3.
India A: 339 and 208 for 4 declared.
New Zealand A: 234 and 273 for 8 in 62 overs (George Worker 89, Neil Broom 72; R Vinay Kumar 3 for 47).