Seniors beat Juniors in the first practice match

Published: Friday, September 8, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Chennai: After the rolling camp in Bangalore, it was time for some 'serious' cricket as the Malaysian-bound Indian team were put to match-situation at the M A Chidambaram stadium here today.

As part of fine-tuning the skills ahead of the tri-series, involving Australia and West Indies, the Indian team played a practice match, in which all the players had a knock at the middle.

For the record, Indian Seniors, led by Rahul Dravid, won the match by four wickets after successfully chasing the target twice.

Replying to Indian Junior's total of 274 for eight in 50 overs, the Seniors overhauled the target in the 39th over, before coach Greg Chappell revised the target to 350, which too was achieved, thanks to a last ball boundary by Harbhajan Singh.

The motley crowd which had turned up at the stadium enjoyed the full days of cricket and were treated to some good knocks by Rahul Dravid, M S Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Robin Uthappa, Md Kaif, Dinesh Kaarthick and S Badrinath.

More than the runs and wickets, it was time for the team management to try out a couple of combinations to ensure that the players had the feel of match-like situation.

Virender Sehwag got to bat twice and scored a solitary run. His two stints at the crease put together lasted a mere five balls as he was castled by medium pacer V R V Singh on both the occasions. First he faced two balls for his one run. When he came back to bat again to get back his sublime form, he disappointed again as his 'second' innings lasted just three balls.

Suresh Raina too batted twice for his 39 runs. First he scored 11 runs and was striking the ball from the meat of the bat, when he was hit by an Agarkar short-pitched delivery forcing him to retire.

He had a cut injury on his chin and it required five stitches.

The Juniors led by Dinesh Mongia batted first scoring 274 for eight with Dinesh Kaarthick (57, 73 balls, 8x4, 1x6) and Robin Uthappa (52-retired, 54 balls, 4x4, 1x5) adding 110 for the first wicket in 19 overs. Local lad S Badrinth struck a breezy half century (52, 46 balls, 7x4, 1x6) before retiring.

In reply, the Seniors started well with Dravid having a good time in the middle, hitting 12 sweetly-timed boundaries in his 51-ball 59 before he retired. Sachin too appeared in good nick in his 20-ball 18 that contained four fours.

Continuing with the experimentation, the team management put Irfan Pathan at the No 3 slot and the young medium pacer, who was hit for 80 runs in ten overs, justified the role with a rapid fire 68 in 52 balls. His innings contained seven fours and four sixers before he retired to allow Dhoni to unleash his pyrotechnics. Dhoni too retired after scoring 52 (nine fours and one six).

Agarkar (34, 29 balls, 3x4, 1x6) Ramesh Pawar (21, 25 balls, 1x6, 1x4) and Harbhajan (28, 17 balls, 2x4, 2x6) too had a good time in the middle.

Among the bowlers, V R V Singh looked impressive, taking three wickets for 55 for the Juniors.

The second practice match would be held tomorrow.

Brief Scores:

Indian juniors 274 for eight in 50 overs (Dinesh kaartick 57, Robin Uthappa 52, S Badrinath 52, Rohit sharma 29, Ramesh Powar 3 for 39, Munaf Patel 2 for 50, Ajit AGarkar one for 40, Irfan Pathan one for 80) lost to Indian Seniors 353 for six in 50 overs (Rahul Dravid 59, Sacin Tendulkar 18, Irfan Pathan 68, Md Kaif 39, Dhoni 52, Agarkar 34, Ramesh Powar 21, Harbhajan 28 not out, V R V Singh 3 for 55, R P Singh one for 91, Dinesh Mongia one for 71).

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