India A v NZ A, 1st unofficial ODI, Vizag September 8, 2013

Uthappa, Chand power India A to easy win

ESPNcricinfo staff

India A 261 for 4 (Uthappa 103, Chand 94, Milne 3-43) beat New Zealand A 257 (Mitchell 51, Kulkarni 3-38, Menaria 3-43, Rahul Sharma 3-45) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Robin Uthappa has endured five frustrating years on the sidelines since marking his international debut with a match-winning 86 against England back in April 2006 - the highest score by an Indian debutant in ODIs. He was part of the India team that lifted the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007. But a slump in form in 2008 led to him being dropped and ever since, Uthappa has been on ODI exile.

On Sunday, he made a strong statement of intent with an all-round performance that guided India A to a comprehensive six-wicket win over New Zealand A in the first unofficial ODI in Visakhapatnam. Uthappa took four catches, and then struck a 114-ball 103 to set India A on their way to an easy victory. Uthappa put on 178 for the opening wicket in 30 overs with his captain Unmukt Chand, who cracked 94 off 88 after twin failures in the unofficial Tests.

Uthappa got off the mark in rather fortuitous circumstances with an inside edge off Adam Milne that raced behind for four. But he soon settled in, and displayed the same confidence and flair which he had shown for India between 2006 and 2008.

Uthappa made expert use of his wrists, attacking loose deliveries and sensibly rotating the strike. He reached his fifty in the 18th over by opening the face of the blade and picking the gap between point and cover for his seventh four. Uthappa showed increasing aggression as the innings wore on, executing the pull to devastating effect. He dispatched Matt Henry for two sixes and hit another one off Milne to reach his century in 110 balls.

Chand smashed nine fours and six sixes, pulling repeatedly with power, and looked to be heading towards a well-deserved century, but departed for 94 after holing out to Tom Latham at deep midwicket.

Uthappa carried on, and added another 48 with Aditya Tare, but eventually flicked one to Colin Munro at fine leg. Two more wickets fell in quick succession, but with just 23 more needed, India A remained comfortable. Kedar Jadhav hit the winning runs as India A overhauled the target with 5.5 overs remaining.

It wasn't entirely smooth sailing for the hosts at first, after a 70-run eighth-wicket partnership between Ish Sodhi and Daryl Mitchell propelled New Zealand A to a competitive 257. The visitors, choosing to bat, got off to a solid, but unhurried start, as the openers Anton Devcich and Luke Ronchi added 36. But Uthappa got the breakthrough, diving wide to his left to take a blinder to send back Ronchi off Shrikant Wagh in the ninth over.

Devcich, Latham and Carl Cachopa all made useful contributions, but wickets at regular intervals from Dhawal Kulkarni, Ashok Menaria and Rahul Sharma, who each finished with three scalps, left New Zealand A precariously placed at 183 for 7. Mitchell counter-attacked with a 62-ball 51, but was overshadowed by Chand and Uthappa's match-winning blitz.

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  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    robin uthappa is the best opener compare to rohith......... but dhoni will nt tk him to indian team.......... he played well in domestic season in this year.. he has scored 307 in deodahar trophy and 103 against newzeland A........

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    Like I said before, Unmukt looks so much better and plays a hell of a lot better when he captains. By his standards, the tests were quiet and so was the tournament before it. He needs to be groomed as a captain for the future!

  • jared on September 9, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    thats a pretty average performance from the kiwis, why is mitchell batting so low in the order, he's probably the best batter on tour, good to see milne bowling well but i would of preferred him to be playing the longer version part of the tour, pretty dissapointing from henry as well hopefully he finds his feet over there soon and even though the indians are the best players of spin in the world i would of thought with what must of been favourable conditions that ish sohdi would be performing better. this is such an important tour for these players development and im sure they will all learn alot but there have been some very questionable moves by management, using broom as an opener? playing 3 wicket keepers in the tests? not playing mitchell in the second test? then batting him with the tail in the first odi? a few head scratchers but all an all they are going ok, best of luck for the remaining games.

  • Vivek on September 9, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    Well done robbie and chand..But problem with both guys is they have got a good start and should continue this form to claim a spot in national squad...But sometimes i feel that chand is becoming another rohith sharma with talented tag and inconsistency and still selectors darling...

  • Naresh on September 8, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    WOW - yesterday it was Juneja, today it is Chand and Uthappa. Fans are quickly forgetting Shewag. Now who to partner Dhawan as opener for ODI's? To add to this list we have guys like ZOL and Lokesh Rahul. As said by @Prakash we are really spoiled for choices batting wise. Now only restock the Bowling cupboard and we could be a real force to reckon with.

  • Prakash on September 8, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    Indian team is in a state of euphoria these days,and why not?? so many boys are trying their level best to make it into the national squad through their performances in the recent past.Its a commendable job done by BCCI to organize these A tours and rest the main squad for a while.Lot of players are getting a chance to perform against international players.Some noteworthy performers have been Rahane against South Africa on a seaming pitch,Uthappa in this match,Juneja against Kiwis,Ishwor Pandey's bowling,Rahul sharma,Dhawal Kulkarni.Its good to see that there is a healthy competition going on and players are trying to prove a point through their performances.Its going to be a pretty sweet headache for the selectors when they have to decide the national team in the future.Hope they make a good selection and these players get a chance somewhere down the line and perform well at the highest level.Hoping to see more DHAWANs in the makings.All the best to team India from USA.

  • Anit on September 8, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    How is Manprit Juneja? His first-class record is very impressive with an average of almost 80 in 12 matches. Even the list A average of 44 is good.

  • Vijay on September 8, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Hope to see Unmukt carry on. He hasn't really done much justice to his talent and previous scores aren't really great. I really hope this is a start of better things to come his way.

  • Ashok on September 8, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Great opening partnership between Chand & Uthappa set the scene for an easy Indian victory in ODI 1.Uthappa has always been a Star short format batsman but repeatedly ignored by the Indian Selectors. He is still the best Opening bat to partner Dhawan in ODI's. While Uthappa got a raw deal as a batsman for the Indian ODI Team, Rahul Sharma, the best suited ODI leg spinner, has been benched at least 15 times by Dhoni, after being in the squad. Rahul with fastish leg breaks & googlies is rather similar to Kumble but not as lucky in making the XI. Both Rahul & Uthappa showed up in this ODI with notable performances. Kulkarni is another excellent seamer who shows inconsistent form. On his day he is one of the best. Unfortunately, Sandeep Sharma failed to show up. I also expected Jalal Saxena in the XI as well as Samson. Saxena was the bowling star in Tests vs. NZ, last week. The basis of XI Selection for any Indian team leaves one scratching their head. Why not choose the best XI to WIN?