Visakhapatnam: Fifties to Tom Latham and Carl Cachopa were the highlight for New Zealand A as the second unofficial Test came to a dull and premature end on Thursday at the Port Trust Diamond Jubilee Stadium. The tourists bowled India out for a minuscule lead in the first session and then built on that through Latham and Cachopa, both of whom made their first notable contributions of the series. Bad light curtailed play soon after the tea break and a draw was declared with the visitors on 176 for 3.
India A trailed by 29 runs when play began and were bowled out seven runs short of levelling with the New Zealanders. From an overnight 408 for 7, they lost Dhawal Kulkarni for 10, popping a return catch to Mark Gillespie, in the eighth over the morning. Eleven balls later, Manprit Juneja's vigil came to an end on 193 when he mistimed a lofted shot to midwicket to become Gillespie's third wicket. Juneja's innings spanned 362 deliveries and was his second-best effort in first-class cricket. Gillespie ended the innings at 430 when he bowled Imtiaz Ahmed for 0 in the 136th over, finishing with 4 for 80.
Starting their second innings, New Zealand A lost Neil Broom for another poor score. After making 10 in the first Test, Broom picked up a pair when Kulkarni trapped him in front of the stumps for 0 with his fifth delivery. Kulkarni dismissed Broom in the same manner in the first innings and in the first match he had a hand in running out the out-of-form opener, who last played for the senior team in 2010.
Latham, who so far had scored 21 and 15 on tour, produced a solid 61 and Cachopa weighed in with a stroke-filled 76 to enable the tourists to get their first noticeable top-order partnership. Until today the top three wickets had managed stands of 20, 26, 0, 0, 17 and 0. Latham and Cachopa added 128. Cachopa also shrugged off a run of poor scores with 76 off 139 balls, containing 13 boundaries. Latham's innings consisted of seven fours and encompassed 100 balls.
Both were dismissed in the afternoon session by left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhurv in the space of 14 deliveries; Latham edged to Unmukt Chand at slip and Cachopa was trapped lbw. At tea, New Zealand A were 173 for 3, leading by 183. Moments into the final session bad light interrupted play and the umpires decided to call the match off shortly after.