New Delhi: Andy Flower proved to be the thorn in the flesh for India once again as Zimbabwe recovered from early setbacks to reach 163 for three at tea on the opening day of the second Test match on Thursday.Flower, woefully out of form prior to this match, took charge when Zimbabwe was in deep trouble at 11 for two after electing to bat and anchored his side to safety with two fine partnerships with Alistair Campbell and Dion Ebrahim. Flower, who had scored a century the last time the two teams played here in 2000, was still going strong on 81 after batting for 203 minutes with 14 well struck fours.
Ebrahim was batting on 40, their fourth wicket association having already yielded 98 runs. Earlier, Javagal Srinath dismissed Zimbabwe skipper Stuart Carlisle with the fourth ball of the match. Zimbabwe's first run came in the third over and first four in the eighth when opener Trevor Gripper hooked Zaheer Khan to the square-leg fence. But Zaheer struck back with the very next ball to have Gripper caught by Rahul Dravid at first slip for eight.
Andy Flower and Campbell then put on 54 for the third wicket to steady the innings somewhat before Zaheer and Dravid combined again to send back Campbell, who made 16, half an hour before lunch. Flower and Ebrahim denied the Indians any more success in the second session, which produced 89 runs for Zimbabwe in 27 overs.