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September 3, 2013
India A 94 for 2 (Juneja 43*, Jagadeesh 40*) trail New Zealand A 437 (Devcich 115, Anderson 100, Bracewell 96, Sodhi 57, Kulkarni 3-53) by 343 runs
Doug Bracewell and Ish Sodhi, Nos 9 and 10, defied India A with a 162-run partnership that stretched the New Zealand A innings to 437 on the second day of the second and final unofficial Test in Visakhapatnam. The home team were tottering at 16 for 2 in reply, but recovered to end the day on 94 for 2, still needing another 194 runs to make the visitors bat again.
Bracewell, who had seven first-class fifties prior to this game, was four runs short of his maiden hundred when he fell to the captain Abhishek Nayar for 96. By then, he had already clubbed 11 fours and one six during his 132-ball stay. Sodhi, the Ludhiana-born legspinner, played the ideal foil to Bracewell's aggression, and faced 10 more deliveries than his partner did to make his highest first-class score of 57, also his fourth fifty in the format in 16 innings.
Having kept the Indians at bay for about 12 overs on the first evening, the duo proved difficult to remove for more than 31 overs on the second morning, before Nayar bowled Bracewell. Four deliveries later, Sodhi was caught by Unmukt Chand off Dhawal Kulkarni to end the innings in the 122nd over. New Zealand A had added nearly 400 runs after having been reduced to 43 for 4 on the first morning.
Chand had his second failure of the series when he was caught behind for 4 in the fifth over off Mark Gillespie. After tormenting them with the bat, Bracewell delivered another blow to India A with the ball when he had Vijay Zol caught by Tom Latham for 2. Opener VA Jagadeesh and Manprit Juneja stabilized the innings thereafter. Both progressed to unbeaten forties by stumps, but the hosts still have a lot of work to do on the third day.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?