Patient Joe Carter leads the show with highest first-class score

The New Zealand A batter scored quickly on the second day in Bengaluru to lead his team to 400

Daya Sagar
Daya Sagar
Joe Carter made his highest score in first-class cricket, India A vs New Zealand A, 1st unofficial Test, 2nd day, Bengaluru, September 2, 2022

Joe Carter made his highest score in first-class cricket  •  Mallikarjuna/KSCA

New Zealand A batter Joe Carter rued falling three short of what would have been his maiden first-class double century, after having "batted with patience" for most of his innings during the first four-day game against India A in Bengaluru.
Carter was unbeaten on 73 off 160 balls at the end of day one, as India A's medium pacers took advantage of the moisture and swing on offer to trouble New Zealand A's batters.
With the visitors resuming on 156 for 5 on the second day, Carter led the show by adding another 124 to his score off only 135 deliveries. He finished with a first-class best of 197, including 26 fours and three sixes, as he upped the tempo with the lower order to help New Zealand A pile up 400.
"On the first day, I was just trying to adjust to the conditions," Carter said at the end of the second day. "India's fast bowlers were getting swing, so it was difficult to free my arms.
"So I batted with patience yesterday. But today, when the pitch was easier to bat on and also when I got a few bad balls, I freed myself to score. I like both defensive and offensive batting, but I bat according to the conditions."
"When you play for New Zealand A, you also have an eye on your national team. But I am not thinking much. I have never played in India, so this experience is also very important for me."
Joe Carter
Carter missed his double-century when he was stumped off Kuldeep Yadav but was satisfied that New Zealand A had posted a challenging total.
"To be honest, it is a bit frustrating right now. But when I got out, it was not like that," he said. "I was not thinking about my 200 then. The team management told me that I have 20 minutes, after which we would declare. India were bowling spin, and I decided to bat in T20 style to add more runs for my team."
The 29-year-old, who idolises New Zealand senior team captain Kane Williamson and India middle-order batter Ajinkya Rahane, said the touring New Zealand A players had practised to play spin by preparing similar pitches at home.
"We prepared different types of pitches in Christchurch: some pitches had lot of turn, and some were slow," Carter said. "We used to practice for hours on these pitches. Kuldeep Yadav bowls wristspin with the left hand, so we played Michael Rippon, who bowls like Kuldeep.
"We were surprised when India came out with only one frontline spinner [in this match]. We thought at least two spinners would play - one who brings the ball in, while another who would take it away."
Carter, who was born and raised in the UK, moved to New Zealand when was 11. He has now spent nine years at the domestic level in the country, having represented New Zealand U-19 in the company of Ish Sodhi, Will Young and Jacob Duffy before that. While the three of them have gone to play international cricket for their country, Carter hopes his chance will arrive soon.
"When you play for New Zealand A, you also have an eye on your national team," he said. "But I am not thinking much. I have never played in India, so this experience is also very important for me. Yes, it's disappointing that I haven't made it to the New Zealand team yet, but this is my journey and I'm trying to enjoy my cricket right now."

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