Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Dravid, Sachin help India reach 335

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:After the recent scare about his back problem, Sachin Tendulkar was in sparkling form, hitting a cracking 76 against the Pakistan 'A' side in the first outing for the Indian cricketers on their historic tour of Pakistan.

Vice-captain Rahul Dravid, with an unbeaten 92, and Virender Sehwag (75) also showed top form as the Indians hit up 335 for six in the allotted 50 overs despite failure by captain Sourav Ganguly.

Put in to bat by Pakistan 'A' captain Taufeeq Umar, the Indians were off to a rollicking start, scoring at almost eight runs an over.

Sehwag played in his usual cavalier style, scoring in fours and sixes while Tendulkar also entertained the crowd with his elegant shots. The Indian opening pair brought up the century stand in just over 12 overs with Sehwag dominating the stand with a 40-ball 50. Sehwag's 75 contained 13 fours and a six before he was caught by Bazid Khan.

Sehwag launched the assault from the very first over bowled by an erratic Gul who conceded as many as 34 runs in his first three overs.

Tendulkar was quite content in allowing his partner to torment the Pakistanis before he himself got into the act with a flurry of strokes. After the duo returned to the pavilion, the dependable Dravid took the centrestage with a 70-ball blitzkrieg to unsettle the home team completely.

Spinner Qaiser Abbas provided the first breakthrough for the home team by evicting the dangerous Sehwag. Ganguly (5) again fell prey to the short-pitched ball as he tried to fend off a flier from Gul but only succeeded in offering a simple return catch to the bowler, much to the delight of the home team.

The captain was soon joined by Tendulkar in the pavilion as the star batsman tried to sweep Qaiser Abbas but misjudged the line. His 82-ball knock contained 11 boundaries.

From a comfortable 149 for one, the visitors slumped to 182 for three at the midway stage but the in-form Dravid and VVS Laxman played sensibly. The duo added 57 runs for the fourth-wicket before Laxman fell to Junaid Zia, being bowled by a good delivery for 28 while Yuraj Singh (10) did not last long.

Dravid broke loose after Yuvraj's dismissal as he kept attacking the bowlers. His 70-ball unbeaten 92 contained 13 boundaries and a huge six.

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