New Zealand A have capped off their tour of the United Kingdom with a draw against Surrey in their Three Day match at The Oval.
Surrey fought well with the bat in the second innings, posting 364 and setting the visitors a target of 255 to win.
New Zealand’s pursuit got off to a shaky start when they were reduced to 81-6, but a captain’s knock from BJ Watling (55) saw them finish at 136-6 and secure the draw.
Following a weather-marred day two, Surrey came out to bat at 72-3 and still trailing by 29 runs.
However, a ton from Aneesh Kapil (104*) and 94 from Rory Burns elevated them to a more than respectable total.
While the going was tough for the Kiwi bowlers, Todd Astle was the most effective, taking four for 83 from 15 overs.
With New Zealand requiring an unlikely 255 to win, the match was all but out of reach – and particular after wickets tumbled at the top of the order.
Things were looking precarious at 27-4, but a typically hard-nosed effort from Watling would guide New Zealand to safety, with the skipper surviving 96 balls and bringing up his half century in the process.
Alongside Scott Kuggeleijn (16*) he saw out the rest of the overs, with New Zealand finishing 119 short of their target.
The draw caps off what has been a very successful tour for New Zealand A, who won their Tri-series with the England Lions and Sri Lanka A, cruised past Scotland 2-0 in their One Day series and beat Kent in a 50 over match.
Coach Bob Carter said a lot had been achieved from the trip.
“Today wasn’t the way we wanted to finish the tour, but it was pleasing to see us fight all the way to the end and secure the draw,” said Carter.
“Overall the performances have been really pleasing and that’s reflected in our results.
“The boys’ attitudes have been brilliant and a number of these players have really put their hand up for higher honours.”