Karn, Shahbaz finish with 8-fors as NZ A suffer innings defeat
India A 320 (Iyer 108, Pant 67, Sodhi 5-94) beat New Zealand A 147 (Seifert 35, Nadeem 4-39, Karn 4-58) and 142 (Worker 35, Karn 4-62, Nadeem 4-51) by an innings and 31 runs
New Zealand A failed to learn from their mistakes in the first innings. Indecision in footwork against spin and relying on their pad as their first line of defense - against two quality spinners - resulted in a loss by an innings and 31 runs shortly after lunch on the third day of the first unofficial Test in Vijayawada.
Karn Sharma, the legspinner, took four wickets to take his match tally to 8 for 120, thereby continuing his fine recent run that now includes two five-fors and two four-fors in his last three first-class matches. Shahbaz Nadeem also took four wickets with his loopy left-arm spin to finish with an eight-for in the match. Alarmingly for New Zealand A, their second-innings collapse from their overnight 64 for 2 to 142 all out had little to do with the pitch.
Openers Jeet Raval and George Worker aside, none of the others topped 20. The only batsman who appeared to pick spin was Tim Seifert, the wicketkeeper, who was largely untroubled for 35 deliveries before perishing to a sharp Karn legbreak that beat his forward push to be lbw. Seifert also showed some spunk in the first innings to top score with 35. He was one of two positives - Ish Sodhi, who took a five-for, being the other - for the visitors.
The procession started 15 minutes into play when Worker attempted an expansive sweep from outside off to a delivery that spun back in from the rough to deflect off his body and onto the stumps. Will Young was snuffed out at short leg and Tom Blundell, among those in the fray to replace Luke Ronchi as a frontline wicketkeeper in the national team, was lbw to an indipper from Shardul Thakur.
With the cream of the batting line-up gone inside 11 overs to leave New Zealand A on 98 for 5, the lower order came out trying to slog the spinners out of the field. The execution, however, failed only to leave them with plenty of time to ponder and practice ahead of the second four-day game on September 30 at the same venue.
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo