Joe Carter. (TOI Photo)Easwaran leads India 'A' reply with unbeaten 87
BENGALURU: Many players in the New Zealand 'A' side touring India are first timers. The conditions, culture and climate are new to them. Joe Carter is among those who have been rewarded with the Indian sojourn for their domestic performance.
When the 29-year-old came out to bat on the opening day of the four-day contest against India 'A' on Thursday, there was hesitation, especially with the Indian pacers getting ample purchase and swing. For a batsman, who along with Brett Hampton holds the world record for the maximum runs scored in an over (43) in a List A game, Carter showed remarkable composure and patience, scoring an unbeaten 73 off 170 balls. On Friday at the M Chinnaswamy stadium, just like the weather, Carter's pace and performance was different from the first day.
He stepped on the gas, at times wore his dancing shoes and owned the stage for the better part of the day. His 474-minute stay at the crease ended in heartbreak as he missed his maiden double hundred by three runs. On a day when the pitch eased out and allowed the batsmen to play their strokes, Carter's 197 (305b; 26×3; 3×6) was the highlight of the visiting team's total of 400 all out in 110. 5 overs.
In reply, skipper Priyank Panchal (47) and Abhimanyu Easwaran (87 n. o) gave the home team a brisk start with their 123-run opening partnership. When stumps were drawn, India were 156/1 in 37 overs, trailing New Zealand by 244 runs.
Carter punished the pacers for their wavering length and took the spinners by surprise by stepping out to hit them, with Kuldeep Yadav bearing the brunt. In the morning session, he warmed up with a few boundaries but pulled Arzan Nagwaswalla over deep square leg in the 84th over for the first maximum of the Kiwi innings. Later, he stepped out twice against Kuldeep and sent the ball into the stands and scored 97 runs in the session off 103 deliveries. As Carter inched closer to his double century, he let impatience take over and attempted to reverse sweep Kuldeep, missed and escaped a stumping appeal. The next delivery, he stepped out to go for a big shot, but the ball spun in and went to wicketkeeper KS Bharat, who made no mistake in dislodging the stumps.
Brief scores: New Zealand (o/n: 156/5): 400 all out in 110. 5 overs (Joe Carter 197, Sean Solia 32; Mukesh Kumar 5-86, Sarfaraz Khan 2-32) vs India: 156/1 in 37 overs (Priyank Panchal 47, Abhimanyu Easwaran 87 no)