Vijaywada: Zimbabwean Andy Flower warmed up for the upcoming Test series against India with an impressive unbeaten 89 in a tour match on Saturday. The left-hander put on 110 for the sixth wicket with Travis Friend (52) as the tourists reached 292 for six at stumps in reply to Board President team's 361 for three declared on the second day of a three-day game. Zimbabwe was strongly placed at 165 for two before losing three wickets in the space of four runs to leg spinner Amit Mishra, who finished with three for 87 off 25 overs.
Flower, who scored 540 in two Tests on Zimbabwe's last tour of India in 2000, came to his team's rescue with a vigorous counter-attack as he struck 12 fours in his 138- ball knock. He was not the only batsman among runs as opener Trevor Gripper and Gavin Rennie also slammed half-centuries to gain valuable batting practice before the opening Test, starting at Nagpur on February 21. Rennie and Gripper were involved in a 75-run stand for the second wicket after skipper Stuart Carlisle (20) had fallen to off spinner Sharandeep Singh in the morning session.
Gripper also fell to Sharandeep after scoring a 137-ball 52 with the help of seven boundaries. Mishra then sparked a mini collapse in the post-lunch session, dismissing Rennie (52), Tatenda Taibu and Heath Streak in his three testing overs to reduce the tourists to 169 for five. Flower and Friend, however, kept the Indian spinners at bay with their sensible batting as the tourists scored 112 in the closing session. Friend struck eight fours in his 98-ball innings before being caught by a diving Gautam Gambhir at square-leg while flicking seamer Tinu Yohannan.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |