Castries (St Lucia): Wavell Hinds smashed a blistering 140 not out and Devon Smith an impressive 91 for Busta XI in a three-day tour match against India to press their Test claims here on Friday. The left-handers thrived on a depleted Indian attack to share a 215-run stand for the second wicket as the home team posted 250 for two at stumps on the opening day after electing to bat at the National Stadium. Hinds cracked three sixes and 19 fours, while Smith hit 13 boundaries before being bowled by off spinner Sharandeep Singh in the last over of the day. The tourists went into the match without key fast bowlers Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, who are being rested ahead of the third Test against the West Indies starting in Barbados on May 2. Middle-order batsmen Sachin Tendulkar, skipper Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid were also not included. The 25-year-old Hinds, dropped against India for the first two Tests, struck the ball firmly and neatly to enhance his chances of regaining his berth for the next Test. He had scored 1,062 runs in 20 Tests for the West Indies before losing his place. Test-aspirant Smith, 20, nearly matched his senior partner shot for shot as the tourists struggled for wickets in the last two sessions after the match had started three-and-a-half hours late due to damp bowlers' run-ups. Indian leg spinner Anil Kumble did little of note to strengthen his chances of coming back into the Test squad, conceding 65 off 16 overs. Kumble, only the second bowler after Englishman Jim Laker to take a perfect-10 in a Test innings, was dropped for the second Test at Port of Spain in Trinidad. Smith showed the way on a good batting wicket, going for his shots early in the innings and reaching his half-century off 57 balls with an drive for four off Kumble just before tea. The Grenadian also punished new ball bowler Sanjay Bangar, hooking and cutting him for three boundaries. He then drove Tinu Yohannan for another four to prop up the innings after opener Darren Ganga's dismissal. Ganga, trying to regain his Test berth, missed the line while trying to work Kumble on the on-side and was bowled for five. There was no stopping the free-stroking Smith, the highest run-getter in this season's domestic tournament for the Busta Cup with 750 in seven matches at an average of 62.50. However Hinds outscored Smith in the closing session with a flurry of big shots, hitting three successive fours off Sarandeep. He then twice lofted Kumble and once hooked Yohannan for sixes. Runs came thick and fast as Hinds and Smith continued to score comfortably against the Indian pace and spin. The closing session produced 160 off 37.3 overs.
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