India wins tour opener without much fuss

Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo:The Indians warmed up for the Asia Cup cricket tournament in style, winning the tour opener against a local outfit without much fuss.

The tourists lost only one wicket in overhauling a total of 187 as both its bowlers and batsmen eased themselves into a rhythm at the start of the new season.

The home team was not laced with big names as the seniors are still on their way back from Australia and the 'A' side is presently engaged in England. But their line-up for the friendly match did have internationals in Michael Vandort, Chamara Silva and Hasan Fernando.

The home openers did not separate before 59 runs were scored and Zaheer Khan clearly struggled, conceding 16 wides before finding some rhythm in his second spell.

One had to wait until the 32nd over to watch Harbhajan Singh in action for the first time in eight months.

The off-spinner extracted good turn and bounce from a placid track and his line and length also looked good.

Coach John Wright commented that Sourav Ganguly found Harbhajan in "excellent nick". Along with Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan too picked up two wickets.

Ganguly seemed intent in giving everyone a chance to bowl, including himself as eight Indians turned their arms over.

When the Indians batted, Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar hit half-centuries and put 98 runs in the first 16 overs before retiring themselves to the pavilion to let others have a hit.

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