Laxman, Ganguly help India post 274 for 6
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2002, 19:38 [IST]
Saurav, Mongia open innings as India bats first
Thascricket.com Special: Zim tour of India
Faridabad: Venkatsai Laxman and skipper Saurav Ganguly slammed impressive half- centuries to help India post 274 for six in the first One-day International against Zimbabwe here on Thursday.Laxman celebrated his return to the One-day squad with 75, while Ganguly made 57 as India overcame a mini slump to score the highest total in six matches played at the Nahar Singh Stadium. India slipped from 171 for two to 211 for six before all-rounder Ajit Agarkar and Mohammad Kaif shared an explosive 63-run stand in 6.2 overs for the unfinished seventh wicket to dash Zimbabwe's hopes of restricting the home team. Agarkar smashed 40 off 19 balls with one six and six fours and Kaif a 45-ball 39 as India surpassed the West Indies' record total of 273 for five at this venue in 1994. Laxman, dropped for the three One-dayers against England last month, struck five fours off 99 balls before being run out in a mix-up with Kaif. He put on 77 for the second wicket with his skipper as India consolidated after a brisk start provided by openers Ganguly and Dinesh Mongia. Ganguly, who survived a caught-and-bowled chance by off spinner Douglas Marillier when on 42, hit six fours and two sixes in his third consecutive half-century in One- dayers. The Indian skipper had scores of 80 and 74 in the last two matches against England and looked set for a big knock when wicket-keeper Tatenda Taibu made a smart stumping off Marillier. The Indian captain had put his team on the right track with a 46-run stand for the opening wicket with left-handed Mongia, opening the innings for the first time in the absence of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. Left-arm spinner Grant Flower was the only bowler to contain runs, conceding just 31 in 10 overs.