PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Visakhapatnam, 4 September
Young Gujarat batsman Manprit Juneja showed perfect temperament for longer format, scoring a patient unbeaten 178 in India A’s first innings score of 408 for seven against New Zealand A at stumps on third day of the second unofficial ‘Test’ here today.
A week short of his 23rd birthday, Juneja batted throughout the entire third day adding 135 runs to his overnight tally of 43. He also put on a huge 197-run third wicket stand with Vasudevan Jagadeesh (91), who missed out on a ton by just nine runs. Juneja then let his skipper Abhishek Nayar (58) dominate in a quickfire 88-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
For New Zealand, pacer Doug Bracewell was the most successful bowler picking up three for 78.
The Indians, who trail New Zealand A by just 29 runs with three wickets remaining, will be hoping that Juneja scores a double century before the bowlers get another shot at the Kiwi line-up on the final day tomorrow.
Juneja made the headlines couple of seasons back when he scored a double hundred on Ranji Trophy debut, and this fifth first-class century in just 12 matches speaks volumes about the right-hander’s talent.
He has already impressed the national selectors with a couple of half-centuries for India U-23 in the recently concluded ACC Meet in Singapore.
Juneja today faced 336 balls (equivalent to 56 overs) for his knock, which included 19 boundaries and a six.