Bhandari steals the show as India beat Pak

Published: Thursday, December 25, 2003, 23:06 [IST]
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Kolkata: Promising pacer Amit Bhandari finished with a four-wicket haul as India 'A' gave the nation a wonderful Christmas gift scripting an emphatic 89 run win over subcontinental rivals Pakistan 'A' in the Kenstar Asian 'A' teams' cricket tournament in Kolkata on Thursday.

Pakistan middle order bat Navid Latif's heroic 128 run effort proved futile as his side failed to recover from the early blows inflicted by Man of The Match Bhandari (4/47) and his new ball partner Munaf Patel who at one stage reduced the vistors to 31 for four and then left them tottering at 72 for six.

Latif, who came at the fall of the fourth wicket, ploughed a lonely furrow in the company of the tailenders and was the last man out as the Pakistan 'A' innings folded for 240 in 48 overs at the Eden Gardens. His 180-minute aggressive knock off 123 balls was studded with 11 boundaries and seven sixes.

India, who lost their opening match to Sri Lanka, earned their first win in the tournament, and the scintillating show would definitely give a boost to their confidence ahead of their second game against the islanders on Friday.

Earlier, replying to India's 329 for six, the Pakistan openers Imran Nazir ( 0) and Shahid Afridi (9) got out to irresponsible shots off Bhandari to give a poor start to the tourists' innings.

While Nazir dragged the ball on to his stumps in his bid to drive the ball, skipper Afridi miscued an off drive of a rising delivery and the edge ballooned up to point where Yuvraj Singh took the catch.

The double success spurred Bhandari and his opening ball partner Munaf Patel who bowled their hearts out and even extracted some movement off the wicket. Muhammad Hafeez (13), Faisal Iqbal (5) and Salman Batt (12) also returned cheaply. Excepting Hafeez, the other four fell to Bhandari whose first spell read 6-1-27-4.

Kolkata keenly awaits Indo-Pak clash

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