New Zealand begin India tour with a draw against Mumbai


Mumbai: Back-up opener Luke Ronchi made his case for selection in the first Test with a cracking century as New Zealand’s only warm-up match of the India tour ended in a draw against Mumbai at the Feroze Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Sunday.

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The visiting team's Luke Ronchi (107) scored a century in the second innings after Mumbai resumed action at 431 for 4. He hit 15 fours and three sixes during his 112-ball innings. Mumbai added 33 runs to their overnight score and declared their innings after Siddhesh Lad (100 not out) completed his century with the total at 464/8 declared.

New Zealand declared their first innings at 324/7 and were all out for 235 in the second innings. 

New Zealand opened their second innings with Ronchi and Martin Guptill.
Guptill was dismissed for a second-ball duck. The Kiwis conceded a 140-run lead in the first innings and decided to give some batting time to some of their lower order personnel.

Mitchell Santner (8), Doug Bracewell (17) and Henry Nicholls (1) couldn't utilise the opportunity presented to them. But Ronchi kept his end intact.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was then given some support by Trent Boult (15) for the fifth wicket. Boult faced 54 deliveries but his dismissal reduced the tourists to 138 for 5.

Ronchi's fine form in the warm-up match makes a strong case for him to be included in the first Test against India staring from September 22 in Kanpur. 

Bradley-John Watling (43) and Tom Latham (25 retired hurt) got some crucial batting practice.

Mumbai's legbreak bowler Parikshit Valsangkar (3/41) was the most successful bowler in the second innings.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 324/4 dec. (Tom Latham 55 retd., Kane Williamson 50; Balwinder Sandhu 2-21) and 235 (Luke Ronchi 107, BJ Watling 43; Parikshit Valsangkar 3-41; Siddhesh Lad 2-11) drew with Mumbai 464/8 (Suryakumar Yadav 103, Kaustubh Pawar 100 retd., Siddhesh Lad 100; Ish Sodhi 2-132).

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