England tour of India - Cricket: Indian Test prospects hammer English bowlers

Published: Friday, November 23, 2001, 23:12 [IST]
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Hyderabad: Indian Test hopefuls Sridharam Sriram and Jacob Martin staked their claims before the selectors by sending England's bowlers on a leather hunt at the Lal Bahadur Stadium on Friday.Sriram hit an unbeaten 120 and Martin contributed 83 in an unbroken stand of 190 as the Indian Board President's team reached 256 for two by stumps on the second day of the three-day match.England was earlier dismissed for 320 in its first innings after the last-wicket pair of Matthew Hoggard and Richard Dawson put on a 28-run partnership.Starting the day at 297 for nine, Dawson enjoyed his stay at the crease to make 24, while Hoggard remained unbeaten on five. Hoggard, the bald Yorkshireman expected to open England's attack in the upcoming Test series, returned with the ball to claim a wicket in his first over.Wasim Jaffer, who hit 99 in the tour opener at Mumbai earlier this week, was caught behind for no score. Off spinner Martyn Ball ended a promising innings of 44 by Dinesh Mongia to make the hosts 66 for two before lunch, but England was denied another wicket for the rest of the day.Sriram, a chubby left-hander who has played One-day Internationals for India before, hoped his Test debut was round the corner after his dour century.All the five selectors, headed by Chandu Borde, watched Sriram grind the English attack after taking an hour and 40 minutes to score his first boundary.Sriram added 13 more hits to the fence, while Martin has so far scored 10 fours. With Sadagopan Ramesh short of match practice after recovering from a back injury, Jaffer and Sriram are on the selectors short-list to open the batting with Shiv Das.Martin is a contender for the middle order, although Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, skipper Saurav Ganguly and Venkat Sai Laxman will be hard to displace.The first Test of the three-match series starts in the northern town of Mohali on December 3.

Copyright AFP 2001

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