IND-A vs NZ-A 1st unofficial Test: Rajat Patidar smashes unbeaten 170, Abhimanyu Easwaran also scores ton as India A end Day 3 on 492/4
IND-A vs NZ-A 1st unofficial Test: Opener Abhimanyu Easwaran gave the national selectors a timely reminder with a magnificent hundred, but the in-form Rajat Patidar stole the show with a scorching 170 not out as India A defeated New Zealand A on the third day of the first unofficial Test to reach 492 for four.
With one day of play remaining, India A led the first innings by 92 runs.
Before Patidar decided to punish the New Zealand attack, Easwaran, whose offensive batting on the second evening set the tone, laid the groundwork with a chiselled 132 off 194 balls.
As he hammered his way to an unbeaten 82 during an unbroken partnership of 167 for the fifth wicket with Patidar, young N T Tilak Varma, who had dazzled everyone in T20s for Mumbai Indians, demonstrated that he was equally competent at playing the traditional game.
Nearly all of the partnerships were noteworthy, but Sarfaraz Khan (36), who appeared to be headed for a huge score, was the one to lose out on a decent batting deck.
How good was that knock! 👏 👏
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) September 3, 2022
Ruturaj Gaikwad (21) was stumped by keeper Cam Fletcher. After India and Priyank Panchal (47) had combined 123 for the opening stand in the second over of the third morning.
The Patidar-Easwaran partnership added 104 runs in just under 26 overs, at a healthy average of four or more runs per over, as India A continued to score runs at a respectable rate.
Even though Patidar kept hitting the ropes. Easwaran, whose innings contained 13 fours and a six, reached his 16th first-class hundred in the first session.
Michael Rippon (1/101), a left-arm wrist spinner, was the one who ultimately bowled the Bengal opener.
In a partnership of 64 runs with Patidar, Sarfaraz scored five boundaries in quick succession. However, he dismissed just before tea when he nicked a ball from pacer Jacob Duffy to keeper Fletcher.
After joining forces, Patidar and Varma demonstrated their skills by scoring 167 runs in just under 41 overs.
Since scoring nearly 400 runs in the IPL, a match-winning century in the Ranji Trophy final. And now a century on his debut for India A, Patidar has been in spectacular form.
With 43 boundaries and 11 sixes, the New Zealand attack took a genuine beating.
Of the trio of spinners, Ravindra was the most economical. But off-spinner Joe Walker (0/81 in 16 overs) took a beating. As both Patidar (4 sixes) and Varma (5 sixes) completely destroyed him.
Brief Scores: NZ A 400.
India A 1st Innings 492/4 (Rajat Patidar 170 batting, Abhimanyu Easwaran 132, NT Tilak Varma 82 batting, Rachin Ravindra 2/96).