Coming out of the winter back home, New Zealand cruised home by 39 runs in a warm-up game against Mumbai at the MIG Cricket Club here on Thursday.
Defending a total of 246 for 8, the New Zealand bowling attack, without their three key bowlers, got wickets at regular intervals to restrict Mumbai batsmen.
New Zealand opted to rest Shane Bond, Daniel Vettori and Jacob Oram, all susceptible to back problems, keeping the hectic season in mind. However, coach John Bracewell clarified that all three will play Friday’s game against Baroda.
Young sensation Rohit Sharma, who hit 91 off 69 balls, impressed in his first real big game for Mumbai. His innings included seven boundaries and two sixes.
However, he ran out of partners before offie Jeetan Patel trapped him in front of the wickets in the 33rd over. All-rounder Abhishek Nair, who was taken for 22 runs off two overs, then made a late surcharge with a 45-ball 43, but it was too late.
Earlier, Lou Vincent (59 off 73) and Stephen Fleming (52 off 49) set the Kiwis off to a good start with well-crafted fifties.
However, after the 95-run partnership at almost a run-a-ball partnership, the Mumbai spinners, offie Aniket Redkar (10-0-34-2) and skipper Nilesh Kulkarni (10-2-29-1), put brakes on the Kiwi scoring rate. Redkar bowled like a top quality bowler and earned praise not only from his skipper but also from the opposition coach John Bracewell.
Brief scores: New Zealand 246 for 8 in 50 overs (L Vincent 59, S Fleming 52, H Marshall 43, S Styris 27, A Redkar 2 for 34, A Salvi 2 for 58) bt Mumbai 207 all out in 48 overs (R Sharma 43, A Nair 43, B Thakkar 29, M Gillespie 3 for 37, J Patel 3 for 39).