Zaheer, Ishant bowl in drawn practice game

Published: Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 11:20 [IST]
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Zaheer, Ishant bowl in drawn match

Canberra, Dec 21: The pace duo of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma got some vital bowling practice before the Indians' three-day warm-up match against Cricket Australia Chairman's XI ended in a draw on Wednesday.

Needing 146 runs to win from 30 overs, Chairman's XI made 100 for no loss in their second innings with Test discards Phil Hughes (42) and Usman Khawaja (56) serving a point to the selectors.

Regular Test opener David Warner didn't come out to bat in the second innings, troubled as he was with back pain.

Earlier, the Indians declared their second innings at 90/2 after the hosts, on their part, had declared the first innings at the overnight score of 214/7.

The two teams decided at the start of the day that they would bat for 30 overs each in their second innings in order to wrap up the game early.

Indians would carry mixed feelings from the final day's play as opener Virender Sehwag (8) failed for the second time in the match but heart-warming sight for the tourists was the five-over each spell by new-ball bowlers, Zaheer and Ishant.

While Sharma was laid low on the first morning of the two-day game against Chairman's XI last week, after bowling only 5.3 overs, troubled by his left ankle, Zaheer, at best, had bowled only gingerly in the nets and in the ongoing match.

It must be said that both Zaheer and Ishant bowled within themselves, never going full blast.

Both Ishant and Zaheer were trying to avoid putting too much load on their front legs at the point of delivery.

Earlier, Sehwag suffered his second failure of the match as India declared at 90/2.

Sehwag was out in the second over of the match when he was first startled by a lifting delivery from Peter George before guiding the next delivery into the slip cordon.

Sehwag had made 12 runs in the first innings and was caught in the gully region on the first day.

Ajinkya Rahane didn't do any better either and after being around for 16 balls, he was caught behind the wicket and had still to trouble the scorers. India, in all, batted for 30 overs in their second innings.

Sehwag slammed two fours in left-arm paceman Josh Lalor's second over through the vacant cover region.

Left-handed opener Gautam Gambhir stayed put for 42 runs but it must be said a lot of his runs came against the spinners.

While the new-ball bowlers operated for the first 14 overs, the duo of Lalor and right-arm quick bowler Peter George, Gambhir did no better than defend or spar at deliveries.

Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, was fluent in his knock of 38 off 57 balls with four fours.

Gambhir faced 98 balls for his 42 runs with three fours. The two put on 76 unbeaten runs for the third wicket before being called in by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.


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