Chasing 308 to win, India never let the asking rate get away from them and even though New Zealand took wickets at regular intervals, the visitors were never troubled as every batsmen made significant contributions to help them take a 1-0 series lead.
The man who made the biggest contribution though, was Shankar. Coming in to bat after India A skipper Manish Pandey (42) was dismissed, he had to rebuild the innings as Shreyas Iyer (54) also departed a couple of balls later.
Shankar put together a 116-run stand with Ishan Kishan to bring India’s chase back on track before the latter was dismissed for 47 by Kiwi speedster Lockie Ferguson.
By then India needed only 33 runs and even though they lost Krunal Pandya (9) cheaply, Shankar batted through the innings to comfortably see the side home with one over to spare.
India’s openers Mayank Agarwal (24) and Shubman Gill (37) both made solid starts but could not convert them into big scores.
Both openers were dismissed by the 13th over but a half-century from Shreyas Iyer and a useful knock of 42 by Pandey kept the scoreboard ticking along nicely before both fell victim to pacer Hamish Bennett.
Pandey had earlier chosen to field first after winning the toss but an early breakthrough remained elusive for India, with the home team’s openers scoring at a comfortable rate.
It took a good bit of fielding from Krishnappa Gowtham to affect the run-out of opener George Worker. His partner Hamish Rutherford stuck in for another 10 overs before holing out to Pandey off Gowtham for 70.
Skipper Corey Anderson was dismissed by Navdeep Saini before he could get going and Siddarth Kaul soon accounted for Will Young. The hosts were 157/4 and India looked in control.
But an 82-run stand between Tim Seifert and James Neesham for the fifth wicket got New Zealand A right back in the game.
Seifert was eventually removed by Khaleel Ahmed after he scored 59 but Neesham remained unbeaten on 79.
The hosts lost another wicket in Cole McConchie but the fifth-wicket stand and some useful runs towards the end of the innings saw them finish their 50 overs at a respectable target of 308/6.
The second unofficial ODI takes place on December 8 at the same venue.
hamish rutherfordindia a vs new zealand a 2018Ishan Kishanjames neeshamManish Pandeymayank agarwalshreyas iyerShubman GillTim SeifertVijay Shankar
First Published: December 7, 2018, 3:19 PM IST