Redmond's ton puts Kiwis in strong position

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Chennai, Oct 3 (UNI) A fluent century by opener Aaron Redmond (105) took New Zealand to a position of strength at close on the opening day of the second four-day match against India A here today.

At stumps, the Kiwi batsmen had piled on 270 for three and Greg Hay was batting on 44 with James Marshall who was on 21.

Electing to bat first on a placid wicket, Redmond and fellow opener Martin Guptill (80, 180 balls, 12x4) thrashed the Indian attack to help the Kiwis reach a formidable total on the first day.

The duo added 190 runs for the opening wicket in 61 overs.

After negotiating the new ball bowlers, the Kiwi openers used their feet brilliantly and with a mix of caution and aggression, built up a strong partnership to put the visitors in a commanding position.

The Indians after toiling hard for two sessions, finally got the breakthrough 30 minutes after tea. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra induced Guptill, who was well set for a deserving century, into lofting a long hop and had him caught in the deep by Pujara.

The spring was back in the feet of the Indians as Mishra struck again removing skipper Peter Fulton (5), who edged to keeper Wriddhiman Saha before medium pacer R P Singh castled Redmond to push the Kiwis to 229 for three.

Redmond struck 12 fours and a six in his 211-ball essay.

However, Greg Hay (44 batting), who was earlier dropped by Suresh Raina at slip off left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja on 33, and James Marshall (21 batting) saw the team without any further loss, adding 41 for the unbroken fourth wicket in 17.4 overs.

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, who has been drafted into the ''A'' side for match practice ahead of the first Test against visiting Australia, was off the field for 110 minutes before lunch and tea.

For R P Singh, who too was asked to play for India A for some practice, bowled well in patches before ending the day with a wicket in his kitty.

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