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India 'A' beat Trinidad and Tobago by six wickets
February 25, 2003 19:38 IST
India 'A' came from behind to register a comfortable six-wicket win over Trinidad and Tobago in the Carib Beer Cup first-class cricket competition in Trinidad.
In a match marred by poor umpiring and irate player behaviour, India 'A' bounced back after conceding a 46-run first innings lead to win the four-day contest by virtue of some spectacular spin bowling and solid fourth-day batting by opener Connor Williams.
In reply to the local side's 261 in the first innings, the tourists managed only 215. But they hit back to skittle out the hosts for 181 in the second innings before proceeding to overhaul the target of 228 in 66.5 overs.
While seamers Lakshmipathy Balaji and Avishkar Salvi made inroads into Trinidad and Tobago's first innings, both picking four wickets each, leg-spinner Amit Mishra and left-arm spinner Murali Kartik were the wreckers-in-chief in the second innings, claiming five for 30 and four for 57 respectively.
But it was the left-handed opening batsman Williams who got the Man of the Match award for his gutsy 89 (177 balls, 9x4) against some spirited fast bowling led by Test discard Marlon Black.
The Indians felt they would have done better if it was not for the poor umpiring.
"The umpiring was not up to the standard," captain V V S Laxman was quoted as saying in a website after the match.
Laxman's counterpart from the local side, Daren Ganga, complained that the behaviour of the visitors was not in keeping with international code of conduct.
"I think it was disappointing, knowing that they are a visiting international team and the manner in which they behaved, I think it was disheartening," the website quoted Ganga as saying.
India 'A', playing in the West Indian domestic tournament as an invitational side, had lost their first match to Barbados and drew with Leewards Island in a rain-affected second match. At the Wilson Road Recreation ground in Penal, however, both the batsmen and bowlers came to their own to score a comprehensive win.
Gautam Gambhir and Akash Chopra provided an 88-run opening partnership after Salvi (4-58) and Balaji (4-59) had given their team a solid start to the match by dismissing the home team on the first day.
The Trinidad and Tobago innings revolved around openers Asif Iqbal Jan (94) and Andy Kackson (62). Jan also had another fruitful partnership with skipper Ganga (68) as the two batsmen raised 145 for the third wicket before Balaji and Salvi let the cats among the pigeons.
The Indian middle-order, reined in by offie Mukesh Persad (3-67) and leggie Dinanath Ramnarine (4-60), undid the good work of the seamers and the opening batsmen. If not for Ajay Ratra's unbeaten 50, their total would not have passed the 200 mark.
Kartik and Mishra brought the Indians back into the match while exposing the tradition West Indian weakness against slow bowling. Jan (25) and Jackson (45) once again gave a solid start to the local team but their teammates fell to the spinners.
After Gambhir (67) had put on 124 runs for the second wicket with Williams, Marlon Black picked three wickets on the fourth morning to send jitters in the visitors' camp but a stylish 29 from Ambati Rayudu and a steady unbeaten 34 by Abhijit Kale provided ample support for Williams to lead the team to victory.
Trinidad and Tobago: 261 (A I Jan 94, A Jackson 62, D Ganga 68; L Balaji 4-59, A Salvi 4-58, M Kartik 2-80) and 181 (A Jan 25, A Jackson 45, D Ganga 22, Rampaul 21; M Kartik 4-57, A Mishra 5-30) lost to India 'A' 215 (A Chopra 58, G Gambhir 41, C Williams 30, A Ratra 50 no; M Black 2-24, M Persad 3-67, D Ramnarine 4-60) and 231 for four (G Gambhir 67, C Williams 89 no, A Rayudu 29, A Kale 34 no; M Black 3-61).
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