Randjesfontein (South Africa): India's bowlers took a hammering as Jacques Rudolph hit a century for the Nicky Oppenheimer XI at the Mining Magnates private ground North of Johannesburg on Monday.
The 20-year-old smashed 109, hitting 13 fours and a six off 151 balls, as the Oppenheimer XI scored 244 for three declared in 52 overs in the first match of India's tour. India surprisingly chose to field first in a match designed as a low-pressure warm- up for touring sides. Traditionally there is no toss and the touring side gets the choice of innings. India was the first side since the fixture was launched in 1992 that spurned the chance to bat first. Rudolph, a left-hander who will play against the Indians again for South Africa 'A' in Benoni Wednesday, is regarded as one of South Africa's most talented batsmen and he batted fluently against a side which included all of India's main bowlers, except fast bowler Javagal Srinath. Initially, though, Rudolph was overshadowed by Loots Bosman, 24, who thrashed 62 off 77 balls in an opening partnership of 100 in 22.5 overs. Bosman hit four sixes and four fours. Rudolph was then joined by another 20-year-old left-hander, Graeme Smith, and the pair shared a second wicket stand of 117 before Rudolph was caught in the deep shortly before his team's innings was declared. Smith was run out in the last over of the innings after hitting 54 off 73 balls with four fours and a six. The only bright note for the Indian bowlers was that leg spinner Anil Kumble, making a comeback after a long-term shoulder injury, took both wickets for 47 runs. He bowled 10 overs and showed no ill effects after his absence from the game.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |