India on top as Sussex stumble in Hove

Published: Monday, July 9, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Hove:Indian bowlers took inspiration from top-order batsmen as they claim five wickets to reduce English county champions Sussex to 146 for 5 in their first innings on the second day of the warm-up match on Sunday.

After VVS Laxman top scored with a scintillating innings of 95 to give the Indians an impressive total of 388 for 7 declared, the bowlers produced a clinical display to rip through the Sussex top order.

At stumps, wicketkeeper-batsman Andy Hodd was batting on 21 with Robert Martin-Jenkins yet to open his account at the crease and Sussex still needing 93 more to avoid follow on.

Sreesanth achieved the first breakthrough when he had Richard Montgomerie (18) caught at second slip by Dinesh Karthik before Ranadeb Bose joined the act, sending back Chris Nash in a similar dismissal.

Rudra Pratap Singh then fired in a yorker to trap Hopkinson in front of the wicket.

Sussex skipper Michael Yardy battled adversity with a compact half-century before Anil Kumble marked his bowling run-up.

Once he did that, the leg-spinner duly accounted for Yardy as well as Michael Thornley.

Earlier, India consolidated its position against Sussex, showing resoluteness in the morning session before Saqlain Mushtaq and Ollie Rayner triggered a collapse just after lunch as India declared the innings on 388 for 7 on the second day of their first warm up match against the county side.

The second day's proceedings were initiated by the elegant VVS Laxman, with stylish left-hander Yuvraj Singh giving him company, both of whom probably are vying for the vacant fifth spot in the batting line up as captain Rahul Dravid left the field with a mild calf strain injury.

However the going was not easy for both the batsmen in the morning hours as Sussex opted for the new ball, but both of them seemed determined to prove a point and stuck to their task.

At lunch, Laxman was batting at 80, while Yuvraj was unbeaten on a sedate innings of 31 with few aggressive moments in between.

However, Yuvraj fell to Rayner's trick in the first over after the break as he tried to charge down the spinner only to the Andy Hodd knocking the stumps down as he failed to reach the pitch of the ball.

After Yuvraj India's newly-appointed vice-captain MS Dhoni also was undone by a doosra from Rayner at five and with Saqlain at his mesmerising best took India's sixth wicket as Kumble (2) was caught by Montgomerie on a delivery that had extra bounce.

Seeing wickets tumbling at the other end, Laxman too was caught in a dilemma whether to attack or to continue with his natural game.

He failed to reach a well deserve three figure mark after battling for nearly three hours, as he was caught at 95 by Montgomerie from a Saqlain doosra, which eventually prompted the Indian captain to declare the innings.

Brief scores: India 388/7 declared (Dinesh Karthik b Saqlain Mushtaq 76, Gautam Gambhir c&b Michael Yardy 81, Rahul Dravid retired hurt 57, VVS Laxman c Montgomerie b Saqlain Mushtaq 95, Yuvraj Singh st Andy Hodd b Ollie Rayner 31) Vs Sussex 146/5 ( CD Nash c Karthik b Bose 28, RR Montgomerie c Karthik b Sreesanth 18, MH Yardy c Laxman b Kumble 53)


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