Cleaver, Chapman stud New Zealand A’s domination

New Zealand A 385 for 5 (Cleaver 111*, Chapman 85*, Young 54, Warrier 2-74) lead India A 216 by 169 runs

At 176 for 5, having lost three wickets for five runs, it looked like New Zealand A were throwing away their chance to build a lead over India A. But Mark Chapman and Dane Cleaver would not have it. The pair put on an unbroken 209-run stand – the highest first-class sixth-wicket partnership ever at the Hagley Oval – to carry the hosts to a comfortable 169-run lead by end of day two.

New Zealand had started the day strongly, the overnight duo of Will Young and Ajaz Patel putting on 66 in the morning before being separated. Young was the first to go, caught behind off Sandeep Warrier after completing a fifty. Glenn Phillips fell soon after, pinned lbw by the left-arm spin of Shahbaz Nadeem. Patel, having done more than his job as nightwatchman, became Warrier’s second wicket and New Zealand were on shaky ground, going to lunch on 183 for 5, still trailing by 33 runs.

India would enjoy no more success on the day. Chapman and Cleaver batted out the two final sessions, Cleaver getting to a fifth first-class hundred and Chapman going to stumps in sight of his second. Essentially, Chapman was picking up where he left off against India A in the preceding one-dayers: he had rescued New Zealand A from a top-order slide with an unbeaten 110 in the series-deciding third one-dayer.

India A did not recover from his blows in that game, and they have quite a bit of work ahead of them if they are to do so this time around.