Derby (England): Wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra's unbeaten 101 was the centrepiece of India's 445 for seven declared against Derbyshire here Thursday.
But the tourists did not have things all their own way on the second day of this three-day tour match, 20-year-old Rawait Khan's 77 not out guiding Derbyshire to 228 for three at the close. Ratra, who sustained a calf injury ahead of the second Test at Trent Bridge and saw 17-year-old Parthiv Patel keep the gloves for India's innings victory over England at Headingley, made a determined effort to win back his place ahead of next week's final Test at The Oval. India resumed on 301 for five with Ratra 50 not out.
Acting captain Rahul Dravid, fresh from a man-of-the-match winning hundred at Headingley, then retired on 40 to give his bowlers some batting practice. Spinners Anil Kumble (47) and Harbhajan Singh (44) both took their chance albeit against a Derbyshire attack without captain Dominic Cork and fellow seam bowlers Kevin Dean and Graeme Welch. Ratra, whose innings lasted five minutes short of five hours, faced 207 balls including 14 fours before the declaration came. For Derbyshire Rawait and fellow opener Steve Stubbings prospered against the India new ball attack, putting on 131, before senior partner Stubbings was bowled for 66 by off spinner Harbhajan, hitting across the line.
Dominic Hewson put on 94 with Rawait before he too went for 66, a glance off Kumble caught by leg-slip Venkatsai Laxman. Leg spinner Kumble was in the wickets again before stumps when nightwatchman Paul Aldred (two) was caught at short leg off bat and pad by Shiv Sunder Das. But, with a day to go, a draw looks the most likely result.