India Seniors crush India 'A'

Published: Sunday, February 6, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
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Rahul Dravid
Ahmedabad: Good knocks from captain Dravid and opener S S Das steered India Seniors to a comfortable victory against India A in the Challenger Trophy match on Thursday.

Openers S S Das and V V S Laxman scored 73 and 43 runs while Dravid scored 62 to take the total of India Seniors to 279 runs in the allotted overs. India A were all out for 227 in 43.3 overs.

The opening pair for India A, Arun Kumar and Ashu Dani, looked confident of chasing the huge total and were already on their job when Nikhil Chopra ended the 88-run partnership, taking Dani's wicket.

Arun followed his partner soon when Robin Singh caught him at mid-off off Sunil Joshi. He took 72. All the hopes rested then on the former Indian skipper Azhar and he started off in style. But he too could not play the anchor role and was caught out at 23 while trying to loft a smart delivery from Chopra to fence.

After Azhar's dismissal, bowlers ruled the day with all the three spinners, Anil Kumble, Nikhil Chopra and Sunil Joshi, bagging three wickets each.

Earlier in the day, four run-outs towards the fag end of the innings curtailed India Seniors' score by at least 25 runs, but the three openers had already laid a solid foundation with their delightful knocks.

Das and Laxman proved Dravid right in having elected to bat as they went on song and completed their 50-run partnership in 11.2 overs. The duo piled up 84 runs in 18.3 overs before the latter was adjudged lbw to Sanjay Bangar.

Dravid and Das then added 94 runs in 13.1 overs for the second wicket. Das had four hits to the ropes, faced 102 balls and departed when the scoreboard showed 178 runs.

It seemed the seniors were heading for a big score, as only two wickets were lost when they completed 200 runs. However, Robin Singh, Samir Dighe, H Sodhi and V Prasad were run out thereafter in quick succession and the seniors could add only 70 runs in the last 10 overs.

For India 'A', Sanjay Bangar was the chief destroyer, taking three wickets for 54 runs.

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