Ganguly's ton sets Zimbabwe a stiff target

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2000, 21:10 [IST]
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Ahemdabad: Skipper Saurav Ganguly's blistering century put India on the threshold of a victory in the second One-day International at the Motera Stadium on Tuesday. India reached 306 for five with Joshi contributing a cameo 22 of 12 balls. India scored 110 runs in the last 10 overs.Saurav Ganguly was at his best and took on the responsibility of building the Indian innings after the fall of Tendulkar's wicket. Ganguly and Rahul Dravid put the Indian innings on a good platform before the Indian skipper launched into the Zimbabwean spinners. Ganguly's well-paced knock fetched him 144 runs from 152 balls with eight fours and six sixes.India lost an early wicket when Sachin Tendulkar was surprised by the bounce of Travis Friend even before he could settle down.

Friend got the ball to bounce and cut in late to take the glove off a defensive prod for Andy Flower to take the catch.Rahul Dravid and Ganguly then forged yet another useful partnership. Though there was some turn on the wicket, Ganguly took on the spinners with his clean hits. The full house at the Motera Stadium had a lot to cheer about as the Indian skipper repeatedly sent the ball into the stands.Not hesitating to use his feet, Ganguly danced down the wicket to hoist the spinners over the fence in the arc between long on and deep mid wicket. The Indian skipper reached his 16th One-day International century with a flick to deep square leg off Streak. Ganguly's 100 came off 128 balls with six four and three sixes.Rahul Dravid was once again run out backing up too far.

Saurav Ganguly played firmly on the off side and Dravid took off before he was sent back. A direct hit by Heath Streak left Dravid short of his crease for a well made 62 runs from 88 balls with three fours.Yuvraj Singh was lucky to be given the benefit of doubt of a snick by umpire Hariharan off the bowling off Marillier, who was brought on by Heath Streak to bowl his off-spinners at the left handers. The Zimbabweans set a high standard on the field and deprived India of at least 20 runs.

Marillier, however, paid a heavy price when he went for 21 runs in the 44th over of the innings. Ganguly improvised superbly to twice send the ball over the ropes as the Zimbabwe fielders just watched in awe. Dirk Viljoen then came under the Ganguly bludgeon to concede 10 runs. The left-arm spinner then floated down the leg side and Ganguly's miscued shot was well taken by Marillier. Yuvraj, who was dropped by Heath Streak off the very next ball, did not learn from the escape and fell trying to clear Murphy to be well taken by Streak this time.Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat.

India made one change from the team that beat Zimbabwe in the first One-day match at Cuttack. Sridharan Sriram came in place of Ajit Agarkar as India looked for additional spin support. Zimbabwe retained the same team.

The teams: India: S Ganguly, S Tendulkar, R Dravid, Y Singh, H Badani, R Sodhi, V Dahiya, S Sriram, S Joshi, V Prasad and Z Khan. 12th man: S S Das.

Zimbabwe : Heath Streak, D Marrilier, A Campbell, A Flower, GFlower, G Whittal, D Viljoen, T Friend, H Olonga, B Murphy and S Carlisle.

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