Frustration boils over in NZ, India A match

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 01/10/2012

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The New Zealand A and Indian A cricket teams have been put on notice ahead of their second “test” starting on Wednesday.

Soon after the first match ended in an exciting draw on Saturday, representatives from both teams were spoken to by umpires Phil Agent and Tim Parlane.

It is understood no formal disciplinary action was taken by the umpires who spoke to New Zealand A captain Reece Young and coach John Buchanan and members of the Indian touring party.

Though the game was being played under ICC conditions, lack of a match referee makes imposing sanctions difficult.

New Zealand Cricket are unlikely to push for any either because the tour is as much about building a relationship with cricket's controlling power, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), as the cricket itself.

The four-day match was largely played in good spirits, but boiled over on two occasions.

Last Thursday, when play was again called off early because of bad light, members of the Indian touring party were petulant toward the umpires.

They mockingly clapped the decision - which was the correct one as the meter reading was the same as it had been the day before when the Indian batsmen were happy to go off - and one player even sarcastically thanked the umpires for their “great decision”, while the Indian coaching staff remonstrated with the officials.

No action was taken.

Then on Saturday, when the match was getting tight, the tourists thought they had Wellington's Luke Woodcock caught behind. Woodcock was given not out and stood his ground, but the decision riled the Indians and Woodcock was confronted by some of the opposition. He didn't take a backward step and the umpires had to break up the heated mid-pitch discussion.

Young said he was happy with the spirit the game was played in. He said emotion was a positive rather than a negative, though he did concede it went too far on Saturday.

He would not comment on the discussion with umpires.

A source said the umpires “clearly not very happy”, but they stopped short of official punishments.

Meanwhile in the cricket, India were nearly the architects of their own demise.

After a sporting declaration early on Saturday's fourth day, New Zealand were left 82 overs to chase 314.

Bad light on the previous three days meant around 75 overs were expected to be bowled, but as New Zealand A cruised up to 169-1, the Indians went on a painstaking go-slow.

After tea they bowled just 11 overs in an hour - 15 is considered the usual minimum - and New Zealand batted just 62 overs in their chase.

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While New Zealand were in control the go-slow made sense as it frustrated the home side and meant they had to score quicker.

But when they lost wickets and fell firstly from 169-1 to 202-4 then from 253-4 to 270-8, the Indians were left ruing the missing overs.

After losing Neil Wagner and Tarun Nethula off consecutive balls from tall Indian leggie Rahul Sharma, New Zealand A No 10 Brent Arnel was forced to keep out the hattrick ball.

He and Woodcock (26no) kept out the last two overs before stumps were pulled.

George Worker (89) and Neil Broom (72) had earlier added 149 for the second wicket and batted superbly to give the New Zealand side a chance at victory.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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