Kapil XI prevail over Sachin XI

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: The ethos and ambience defied the occasion. It was the Yashpal Sharma benefit match at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, but the scenario was much more somber overshadowed as it were by the allegations of betting and match-fixing. The meeting called by Union sports minister S S Dhindsa overshadowed what could otherwise been a good cricket carnival between two teams comprising some of the best talent of the country.

For the records Kapil XI won the match by a narrow margin of five runs. Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and elected to field under hot and humid conditions. The Tendulkar team took early command by reducing Kapil XI to 58 for five at the end of the 12th over. With the wicket keeping very low and the bounce being uneven, the Kapil XI batsmen lost wickets at regular intervals by playing their strokes much earlier.

The match took a festival atmosphere only during the sixth wicket partnership between Saba Karim and Tamil Nadu youngster Sri Ram. Saba Karim was on a song and added 69 runs in 12 overs with Sri Ram before the left hander departed. India coach and the world's second highest wicket-taker Kapil Dev then continued merrily to boost his side's total.

Karim's 88 runs off 77 balls with 12 hits to the fence and two over it as well as Kapil's quickfire 59 off 43 balls with five fours and three sixes ultimately helped Kapil XI to give the crowd something to cheer about and reach a challenging score of 251 for 8 in 40 overs.

The Sachin XI's batting display in contrast was of small gems. Captain Sachin himself set the trend by scoring 20 runs off 21 balls with four authentic fours. Two huge sixes by Nayan Mongia in the 27th over bowled by off spinner Aashish Kapoor beefed up the middle of the Sachin XI innings.

Rahul Sanghvi halted the run flow by deceiving Mongia, who was stumped by Saba Karim. It was sweet revenge for Karim as he had been stumped by Mongia off Sachin's bowling earlier. Mongia scored 40 runs off 25 balls with four fours and two sixes. Opener V V S Laxman made 48 runs from 50 balls with nine boundaries. Agarkar sparkled briefly for his 32 runs off 25 balls. Murali Karthik then kept the hopes going for Sachin XI, but lost wickets regularly at the other end. Karthik remained unbeaten on 42 off 26 deliveries with three fours and two sixes. The crowd had everything to cheer about as the match true to Limited Overs International traditions ended on a thrilling note in the last over though the players did not obviously show the seriousness that they would have shown in a regular match.

An estimated crowd of 20,000 was witness to the match in honour of a former India player, who earned his laurels as a part of Kapil's 'Devils' that won the World Cup at England in 1983. Yashpal Sharma, who has now turned into a television commentator and umpire, has played 37 Test and 42 Limited Overs International matches.

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