Badrinath guides India A to 5-wicket win

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Hyderabad, Sep 17 (UNI) Captain Subramaniam Badrinath led from the front to steer India A to a five-wicket win over New Zealand A after the hosts had knocked down the visitors for a paltry 167 in the tri-nation tournament at Rajiv Gandhi stadium here today.

Badrinath played with a mix of caution and aggression to score an unbeaten 69 off 88 balls while Yusuf Pathan's late order fire works enabled India A to go past the required target.

Though the score looked a small one, the top order made sure that the crowd does not miss out on a few exciting moments.

India A was two wickets down for just 18 runs when Badrinath joined opener Robin Uthappa who paid price for his overambitious shots.

Uthappa was looking good as he clobbered the bowling to various parts of the ground in which he hit four fours and a smart flick to see the ball sail over the deep mid-wicket boundary.

However, a rush of blood brought Uthappa's downfall and the right-hander was caught at mid-on by Peter Fulton.

Badrinath held one end and built a strong 68-run partnership with wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthick who was out on 22 off Jeeten Patel.

The India A captain had seven fours and a six to his name and once Karthick departed Yusuf Pathan made sure that his teammates do not have to wait long to get their first win in the tournament.

Yusuf smashed two towering sixes off the first two deliveries that he faced from Patel.

The right-handed batsman carried his bat through the innings with 34 runs off 20 balls which included two fours and three sixes.

Earlier in the day, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla (3/43) and Praveen Kumar (2/17) held the Kiwi batsmen to a small total as the visitors paid price of not looking to play out the full 50 overs.

The only batsman who looked to defy the Indian bowlers was Broom who scored a half-century off just 57 deliveries with five boundaries and two sixes. He got good support from Peter Fulton (40), Grant Elliott (35) and McCullum who made 29 runs.

India 'A', who lost their opening match to Australia 'A' yesterday, picked up 5 points after today's win while the visitors got one point.

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