New Zealand A (who NZ Cricket seem to like to call Solid Energy New Zealand A) started the A Team Triangular Series in southern India with a hiss and a roar, thrashing Aus A by 129 runs. This gave them a good headstart on the table with 5 points. However, they then proceeded to lose the rest of their games by wide margins, and under the humiliating points system used at this tournament, saw their points dwindle away to a final total of 2.
Still, there were a couple of good performances.
Peter Fulton, with four solids scores and an average of 55.5, pushed his claim for a spot in the Black Caps should any of the incumbents not perform in Bangladesh. And on the basis of this A performance, Redmond with his 28 runs from three innings has his work cut out for him holding his place against Fulton.
Mark Gillespie took 7 wickets from his four matches at a SR of 30-odd. Jeetan Patel also did well with 6 wickets at a good average of 23.
Beyond these three though, there wasn't much to write home about. Apart from a 50 by Neil Broom, none of the non-internationals did anything impressive.
I don't really understand the point of A series cricket, but I can see three things that might come out of an A-team tournament.
The first is that it gives out of favour players an opportunity to play themselves back into contention. Fulton is a beneficiary in this case. James Marshall is not.
A series give fringe players the opportunity to find form and get practice. Gillespie, Patel and Elliot have made use of this opportunity. Redmond, not so much. Daniel Flynn could have benefited from a run in this tournament.
The third advantage of A series is that it gives up-and-comers the chance to impress. It is pity that the emerging players, the likes of Greg Hay and Martin Guptil, didn't manage to draw attention to themselves.