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Martin-Jenkins denies Indians victory
July 10, 2007 18:43 IST
Last Updated: July 10, 2007 23:57 IST
An impressive all-round performance by Rudra Pratap Singh and Anil Kumble's wily leg-spin saw India come close to a dramatic victory at the end of a tense final day's play in the warm-up match against English County champions Sussex at Hove on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old Singh was the key to India's turnaround on the fourth and final day that saw the tourists recover from a middle order collapse in the second innings and go on to push for a surprise victory.
Singh hit a quick fire 41 that helped India post a second innings total of 188 for 8 declared and set Sussex a target of 273 from a minimum of 55 overs.
The Uttar Pradesh left-arm seamer then returned to claim 2 for 28 before Kumble wielded his magic.
The hosts were cruising at 96 for 3 before they lost four wickets for 27 runs in the space of seven overs and were reduced to 123 for 7.
Kumble struck in successive overs to dismiss Michael Thornely (11) and opener Richard Montgomerie (59) before returning to account for No 10 James Kirtley (8).
All-rounder Robin Martin-Jenkins, however, thwarted the Indian surge with a resolute knock of 45 not out.
He added 29 vital runs for the eighth wicket with former Pakistani 'offie' Saqlain Mushtaq (9) and later combined with last man Jason Lewry (8 not out) to see his side remain unconquered on 190 for 9.
India next play a three-day match against England [Images] 'A' at Chelmsford ground from Friday.
The first Test at Lord's starts on July 19.
Earlier, R P Singh, with a breezy 46-ball knock that contained seven fours, was the dominant partner in a 64-run stand with captain Rahul Dravid [Images].
The duo lifted the innings that had one stage been reduced to 120 for eight.
Dravid, who missed the last two days' play due to a strain on his left calf muscle, came out to bat at number seven with Karthik as his runner.
He batted with a high degree of confidence against both pace and spin to steer the side to safety along with R P Singh, who enjoyed himself with a cameo knock.
Resuming at 21 for 2, India lost quick wickets in the morning in the face of some impressive bowling by Sussex.
Both Karthik and Yuvraj Singh [Images] were given a soul-searching examination in face of some aggressive medium pace bowling by James Kirtley, Martin-Jenkins and Lewry.
V V S Laxman [Images] played a glorious on-drive off Martin-Jenkins and square drove Saqlain to the fence but was out in an unfortunate manner.
He became a victim of a freak dismissal when his back foot drive off the same bowler hit the silly point fielder on his boot and the ball ballooned up for Hodd to complete the catch.
After lunch, Yardy took two wickets off successive balls in his very first over.
Yardy, bowling his left-arm, accounted for Anil Kumble and Sreesanth, having them caught at short leg.
When Sussex batted, Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] did not take the field due to a sore thumb.
Karthik donned the wicketkeeper's gloves in his place.
Indians (1st innings): 388 for 7 decl
Sussex (1st innings): 300 for 6 decl
Indians (2nd innings):
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-19, 3-62, 4-76, 5-81, 6-104, 7-120, 8-120.
Bowling: Jason Lewry 8-1-31-2, James Kirtley 12-4-31-1, Robin Martin-Jenkins 7-3-13-2, CD Hopkinson 4-0-20-0, Saqlain Mushtaq 4-1-10-1, Ollie Rayner 9-2-37-0, Michael Yardy 7-0-31-2.
Sussex (2nd innings):
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-18, 3-46, 4-96, 5-106, 6-120, 7-123, 8-152, 9-173.
Bowling: S Sreesanth 14-3-47-2, RP Singh 11-4-28-2, Ranadeb Bose 8-2-26-1, Anil Kumble 20-4-57-3, Yuvraj Singh 1-0-5-0, Gautam Gambhir [Images] 1-0-8-0.