Chennai:Captain Suresh Raina hit form with a strokeful 146 as India A set a tough victory target of 355 for New Zealand A on the penultimate day of their four-day cricket match at the M A Chidambaram stadium here on Tuesday.
India A, who took a slender 18-run first innings lead, were all out for 336 in 85 overs, 33 minutes after tea, leaving New Zealand the daunting task of battling out a minimum of 90 overs on the last day tomorrow to save the match.
The hosts could have posted a higher total but for a batting collapse, which saw them lose their last five wickets in six overs after being 5/318 in the 80th over.
Medium pacer Brent Arnel came up with a late burst scalping four wickets, including three in one over.
In reply, the Kiwis were 41 for one in 18 overs, losing opener B J Watling (6) to Mohnish Parmar. Aaron Redmond (25) and their batting mainstay and captain Peter Fulton (7) were at the crease at close of play.
Earlier, Raina ended his poor run since the preceding tri-series and dominated the New Zealand bowlers, building three 50-plus partnerships.
Coming in after the fall of overnight batsman Sahil Kukreja (41) with the team score at 2/73 in the pre-lunch session, Raina was lucky to be dropped by Fulton when on 18 off the bowling of Redmond.
But he never looked back after that and added 83 runs for the third wicket in the company of M Vijay (57), who got out to a wild shot shortly before lunch.