New Zealand A 270 for 7 (Chapman 110*, Astle 56, Porel 3-64, Chahar 2-49) beat India A 265 (Kishan 71*, Shaw 55, Jamieson 4-49, Patel 3-44) by five runs
Axar Patel and Rahul Chahar were dismissed in the 49th over and Sandeep Warrier and Ishan Porel in the next four balls as India A, with 18 runs required from two overs, collapsed dramatically to lose their last four wickets for the addition of just 12 runs to concede the three-match one-day series against New Zealand A. Ishan Kishan, the Indian captain, hit eight of those runs in five balls but could only look on from the other end as his partners came and went, ending unbeaten on an 84-ball 71.
The penultimate over started with Axar hitting Ajaz Patel for a boundary, but he was dismissed next ball for a quick 32. Kishan picked up seven runs off the next three balls, but Chahar fell first ball, bowled by Ajaz.
Kishan was back on strike next over, bowled by Kyle Jamieson, but collected just a single off the second ball, and that was that as Jamieson hit the stumps of Warrier and Porel off back-to-back deliveries to seal the win. Jamieson ended with 4 for 49 and Ajaz 3 for 44.
The game might have turned out differently had the New Zealand lower-order batsmen not done as well as they did. It had looked quite iffy for them when Cole McConchie became the sixth man out with the scoreboard reading 105 for 6 in the 27th over. But Mark Chapman, batting at No. 6, and No. 8 Todd Astle changed the script completely with a 136-run stand. Chapman scored an unbeaten 110 from 98 balls, hitting ten fours and a six along the way, and Astle scored 56 in 65. Once Astle fell, with 14 balls left, Jamieson chipped in with a valuable 13 off seven balls, runs that proved more than useful at the end of the game.
Chasing 271 to take the series, which they led 1-0 after winning the first fixture by five wickets, the Indians got going with Prithvi Shaw and Ruturaj Gaekwad, who had a 78-run stand at the top, Shaw quite the more aggressive partner, scoring 55 of those runs off just 38 balls.
Gaekwad, who scored 44 in 66 balls, had another good stand with Mayank Agarwal, but wickets fell a bit too quickly for the Indians’ comfort as they, too, got into a bit of a tricky situation at 188 for 6 after 39 overs. But, for a while, Kishan and Axar did for the Indians what Chapman and Astle had done earlier in the day, adding 69 for the seventh wicket, and it all looked loaded in their favour till that 49th over, when everything went awry.
The two teams next play the first of two four-day matches in Christchurch from January 30.