Ruther­ford rips into In­dia A

Bay of Plenty Times - - World Feature - Stuff

Hamish Ruther­ford is as Dunedin as the Oc­tagon, scarfies and rugby un­der the roof. But the way things have gone for him at Mount Maun­ganui in the past seven weeks, he must be think­ing se­ri­ously of try­ing to pack up the Bay Oval and carry it round with him.

Yes­ter­day the open­ing bat­man car­ried on a dream run of form on the ground as he hit an im­pres­sive 70 off 66 balls for New Zealand A against In­dia A in the first of three one day in­ter­na­tion­als.

That fol­lowed on from a cen­tury for Otago against North­ern Dis­tricts in the first match of the Plun­ket Shield sea­son and an­other for New Zealand A against In­dia A in the first four day match of this tour in mid Novem­ber.

In be­tween he suf­fered a head knock while bat­ting in the sec­ond four-day match and had to have a head in­jury assess­ment.

On the ba­sis of his bat­ting in the first one-dayer here, he is suf­fer­ing no ill ef­fects.

Ruther­ford and Ge­orge Worker were sel­dom trou­bled on a good pitch af­ter New Zealand A was sur­pris­ingly sent in by In­dia A cap­tain Manesh Pandy. The re­cent rain and wind was nowhere to be seen and con­di­tions were nigh on per­fect for the 2pm start.

The open­ing part­ner­ship raced to 50 in the 10th over with both left­handed open­ers strong square of the wicket against the pace bowlers Sid­darth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini.

Ruther­ford did have a cou­ple of close calls. A di­rect hit at the bowler’s end had the In­dia A field­s­men con­fi­dent of a run out. It ap­peared to be a mar­ginal call at best but with no TV re­play avail­able, um­pire Chris Brown gave him the ben­e­fit of the doubt.

Ahmed thought he had grazed Ruther­ford’s gloves in the ninth over but the con­fi­dent ap­peal for a catch at the wicket was turned down, this time by the other ad­ju­di­ca­tor Shaun Haig.

The first wicket did come from a run out, though. Ruther­ford played it just in front of point but a di­rect hit had Worker short of his ground PHOTO / AN­DREW WARNER as he raced to the bats­man’s end. This time Brown had no doubt and Worker was gone for an im­pres­sive 35 which had promised more.

Ruther­ford then gave the im­pres­sion he needed to make up for his open­ing part­ner’s demise.

His best shot of the day to that time brought up his 50 with a de­light­ful straight drive to the bound­ary.

He then hit the left-armer Krunal Pandya out of the at­tack with a six over mid-wicket then an in­side out cover drive for 4.

Ruther­ford was fi­nally out for 70 when he top-edged off spin­ner Kr­ish­nappa Gowtham and was caught at mid-wicket b Pandey.

With Corey An­deron also fall­ing to a top edge off Saini, New Zealand A were 137 for 3 af­ter 30 overs and on track for a solid score for In­dia A to chase.

Hamish Ruther­ford and Ge­orge Worker look for runs at Mount Maun­ganui’s Bay Oval yes­ter­day.

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