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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Blackwell puts England in command

Blackwell puts England in command

February 19, 2006 20:22 IST

England extended their lead to 78 runs as they ended the second day on 30 for one in the three-day practice match against Cricket Club of India Presdient's XI at the Brabourne stadium on Sunday.

Earlier, CCI XI were bowled out for 51, as three of their batsmen were run out and Amol Muzumdar retired hurt on 15 due to a fractured thumb.

Left-arm spinner Ian Blackwell staked a claim in team for the Test matches as he snapped four wickets in 13 overs after the England medium pacers failed to make an impact early in the morning.

Jammu and Kashmir fast bowler Abid Nabi again gave CCI a good start in the second innings, as he had Andrew Staruss out for a duck. Marcus Trescothick, who did not play in the first innings, was unbeaten on 23 and Kevin Pietersen was three not out at stumps.

After getting off to a decent start, through a 40-run opening partnership between Sahil Kukreja and Robin Uthappa, the home team lost three wickets in two runs to hand England the upper hand. The first two CCI XI wickets (Kukreja and Vinit Indulkar) fell to run-outs, while Stephen Harmison, who extracted good bounce from the Brabourne wicket, followed it up by dismissing Karnataka's Uthappa on 19.

Blackwell then made a dent in the middle and lower order with four wickets, starting with the dismissal of Wilkin Mota, who had resisted the strong England attack along with Hiken Shah with a 55-run stand.

The left-armer was the best of the three English spinners on show, getting enough bite and bounce from the track.

With only two warm-up matches scheduled before the series proper, it was imperative for the bowlers to do well, but Blackwell said there was no pressure on him.

"I felt no pressure. I am part of the England team and it was a superb day for me out there on the field," he said.

"Both me and Monty were keen to be among wickets... it was great to share five wickets with him.

"I was probably picked as the third spinner but I know it is who bowls well in the nets and who performs best in the warm up matches that will get selected."

CCI wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant, who has been Mumbai's man-Friday for the past four seasons, came good with a knock of 53 from 58 balls. Off-spinner Aniket Redkar (36) also stood solid for 77 deliveries and built a 64-run partnership with Samant for the seventh wicket.

Monty Panesar also claimed his first wicket on tour when he bowled Redkar around the legs.

Blackwell supported the youngster, who is pitted against him for the Test slot.

"We want to feel him welcomed. He is the first Sikh to play for us and it is great for him to be coming here and be liked by everyone here," said Blackwell after the match.

Scorecard

England XI (1st innings): 299

Cricket Club of India President's XI (1st innings):
S Kukreja run out (Pietersen) 18
R Uthappa c G Jones b Harmison 19
V Indulkar run out (Vaughan) 1
A Muzumdar retired hurt 15
H Shende c Flintoff b Hoggard 22
H Shah run out (Flintoff) 30
W Mota st G Jones b Blackwell 28
V Samant lbw b Blackwell 53
A Redkar b Panesar 36
Abid Nabi c Hoggard b Blackwell 0
H Waingankar c Udal b Blackwell 10
R Verma not out 4
Extras: (b 4, lb 4, w 4, nb 3) 15
Total: (all out, 79.3 overs, 340 mins) 251
DNB: N Kulkarni, M Ansari, S Hazare, H Bachani.

Fall of wickets: 1-40, 2-41, 3-42, 4-81, 5-136, 6-162, 7-226, 8-226, 9-245, 10-251

Bowling: Hoggard 12 3 24 1, Harmison 13 2 46 1 (1nb, 2w), S Jones 7 1 28 0 (1w), Flintoff 8 2 16 0 (2nb, 1w), Bell 1 0 4 0, Panesar 18 5 45 1, Udal 7 2 23 0, Blackwell 13.3 3 57 4

England XI (2nd innings):
M Trescothick not out 23
A Strauss c Indulkar b Abid Nabi 0
K Pietersen not out 4
Extras: (w 2, nb 1) 3
Total: (1 wicket, 8 overs) 30

Fall of wickets: 1-3

Bowling: Verma 4 1 7 0 (1nb, 1w), Abid Nabi 3 2 4 1, Redkar 1 0 19 0 (1w).

Deepti Patwardhan