Asia XI elect to bat in Afro-Asia Cup tie

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Asia XI skipper Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and opted to bat against Africa XI in the first game of the Afro-Asia Cup one-day series played here at Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.

This is first tie of the three-match ODI series with other two will be held in Chennai on June 9th and 10th.

On paper, the Asian side outweighs the African one, despite the absence of some big names. Asia XI batting studded with Ganguly, Jayawardene, Sehwag, Mohammad Yousuf, Yuvraj and Dhoni looks solid with a perfect blend of experience and youthful zest. Equally matching is bowling department with quality pacemen like Zaheer, Mohd Asif and Mortaza and the India discard offie Harbhajan Singh in their ranks.

Kemp, captain of the African XI, has other worries. Makhaya Ntini, the only fast bowler with serious international success, has stayed home "for personal reasons" and Kallis is absent, which means the pace bowling resources equate to Thomas Odoyo, Peter Ongondo, Andrew Hall and the rookie Morkel brothers, Albie and Morne.

Shaun Pollock has already said he won't bowl at all but it is likely that he will bat down the order to boost a depleted batting line-up.

The proceedings from this series will be used for the development of the sport in both the continent.


Asia XI: Sanath Jayasuriya, Virender Sehwag, Saurav Ganguly, Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Mohammad Yousuf, Mahendra Dhoni (wk), Mashrafe Mortaza, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Asif and Zaheer Khan.

Africa XI: AB de Villiers, Boeta Dippenaar, Justin Kemp (capt), Steve Tikolo, Mark Boucher (wk), Andrew Hall, Johan Botha, Elton Chigumbura, Morne Morkel, Thomas Odoyo and Albie Morkel.


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