Pandey 111* trumps Young 109 to hand India A series
India A 300 for 5 (Pandey 111*, Shankar 59, Iyer 59, McConchie 2-39 ) beat New Zealand A 299 for 9 (Young 109, Worker 99, Khaleel 2-65) by five wickets
Two key middle-order partnerships, anchored by Manish Pandey's unbeaten 111, underpinned India A's five-wicket win over New Zealand A, clinching a 2-0 lead for the visitors in the three-match unofficial ODI series. India A wrapped up the 300-run chase with an over to spare in Mount Maunganui.
The India A captain, who scored 111 off 109 balls with five fours and three sixes, first added 90 with Shreyas Iyer for the third wicket at nearly six an over to propel India to 148 for 2, after the openers had been dismissed by the 12th over. After Iyer fell for 59 - his second consecutive fifty in the series - in the 27th over to Hamish Bennett's right-arm pace, Pandey put on 123 in the next 19 overs with Vijay Shankar. The brisk, dual offensive saw Shankar add a fourth, straight half-century on tour, having shepherded India A to victory with an unbeaten 87 in the series opener at the same venue on Friday.
With India A needing 29 off 27, though, offspinner Cole McConchie's double-strike off consecutive deliveries removed Shankar and wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan, the latter out for a golden duck. Axar Patel, the No. 7 batsman, then knocked off 12 off 11 balls, including a boundary, to help seal the chase in the penultimate over. This was India's second chase of a target of 300 or more in as many games in the series, after Pandey had opted to field first in the opening fixture too.
Earlier, despite Khaleel Ahmed's strike that sent back Hamish Rutherford in the first over, the India A attack failed to stall the other opener, George Worker, who, along with Will Young, put on a 190-run second-wicket stand inside 33 overs.
Worker and Young made 99 and 102 respectively but their dismissals, book-ending that of Corey Anderson, reduced New Zealand A to 215 for 4. Young, New Zealand A's only centurion on the recent tour to the United Arab Emirates, holed out to Mayank Agarwal at point off Khaleel Ahmed, while Worker yorked himself off Axar, falling one short of a 12th List-A century.
Daryll Mitchell's 28-ball 45 then lifted the hosts to 299, before he became the second of the two New Zealand A batsmen to be run-out, his dismissal coming off the final ball of the innings. The pace-bowling trio of Navdeep Saini, Khaleel and Siddarth Kaul took five wickets between them for 169. Kaul, the most economical of the three, conceded 36 runs off eight overs and accounted for McConchie, who had chipped in with a useful 22-ball 21 at No. 8.