India A v NZ A, 2nd unofficial Test, Vizag, 3rd day September 4, 2013

Juneja ton keeps India fighting for lead

ESPNcricinfo staff

India A 408 for 7 (Juneja 178*, Jagadeesh 91, Bracewell 3-75) trail New Zealand A 437 (Devcich 115, Anderson 100, Kulkarni 3-53) by 29 runs

Manprit Juneja's fifth first-class century helped India A end the third day of the unofficial Test in Visakhapatnam within a touching distance of New Zealand A's first-innings total. Juneja was unbeaten on 178 and with only three wickets remaining, he will be key on the fourth morning if India are to take the lead.

India trailed by 343 at the start of the day but Juneja and VA Jagadeesh, the overnight batsmen who had stabilised the innings on the third afternoon after the early losses, helped the home team progress past 200. The two shared a stand of 197 for the third wicket before Doug Bracewell dismissed Jagadeesh nine short of what could have been his seventh first-class century.

It took another 18 overs, however, for New Zealand to make the next strike as Juneja scripted an 88-run stand with his captain Abhishek Nayar, who reached his half-century in quick time. Nayar, fresh from his century in the previous match, needed only 55 deliveries for his 57. But New Zealand clawed back with a couple of wickets in quick succession when Bracewell picked up his third and Corey Anderson had CM Gautam caught behind.

However, Juneja found adequate support from the lower order and he added 37 and 33 with Jalaj Saxena and Shrikant Wagh. He went onto frustrate New Zealand during the last 15 overs of the day with an unbroken 34-run partnership with Dhawal Kulkarni, who played out 50 balls for his 4.