|Related Links:||Articles on cricket|
|Letters Menu||Archival Menu|
INDIA A second innings
A.Chopra c Arjune b Chattergoon 174
G. Gambhir run-out 78
C. Williams lbw Cush 61
H. Bandani not out 57
Extras: (b-7, lb-7, nb-14, w-4) 32
Total: (for three wickets,122.2 overs) 402
Fall of wickets: 146, 280.
Bowling; Griffith 22-3-66-0 (w-2, nb-1), Crandon11-1-44-0 (nb-11), Cush 18-3-56-1, Nagamootoo 33-11-56-0, McGarrell 16-3-56-0, Percival 2-0-8-0, Chattergoon 12.2-0-52-1, Arjune 2-0-16-0, Haniff 6-0-34-0 (nb-1, w-2).
OPENER Akash Chopra hit a solid 174 as India A opted to take batting practice on the final day of their sixth round Carib Beer 2003 Cricket Series match against Guyana at the Georgetown Cricket Club ground, Bourda, yesterday.
Facing a deficit of 126, the visitors who resumed on 136 without loss were 402 for three when play was called off after 6.2 of the 15 mandatory overs were completed.
Final scores in the drawn encounter were: India A 249 and 402 for three; Guyana 375, Chopra, who looked set to bat out the entire day’s play, was out to a tired shot, caught at mid-on by Krishna Arjune off part-time leg-spinner Sewnarine Chattergoon. His dismissal prompted the two sides to agree to call off play. Hemang Bandani was left undefeated on 57.
The draw kept Guyana, who advanced to 36 points, in the race for a place in the final four of this year’s International Shield tournament while India A, who face Jamaica in the next round are on 21. Barbados are already assured of the Carib Beer Cup following their outright victory over Trinidad and Tobago inside three days at the Kensington Oval. Guyana are the defending Shield champions.
Chopra, who showed immense concentration during in his marathon knock, shared in three century-partnerships as the Guyana bowlers toiled all day with little success. Apart from wicketkeeper Vishal Nagamootoo and Travis Dowlin, who both joined the growing injury list, all the other players had a bowl on the docile Bourda track.
The stocky right-hander, who was 55 overnight, added 146 in 159 with opener Gautam Ghambir who took his overnight score from 73 to 78; 134 for the second wicket with Conner Williams (61) and 122 in 88 minutes with Bandani.
Ghambir, who raced past Chopra in the fifties late on the third day, failed to beat an accurate throw from Sewnarine Chattergoon at backward point to end the flourishing opening stand. His dismissal was greeted by a sharp shower, which caused an 18-minute stoppage.
Ghambir struck 10 fours in 159 minutes off 108 balls.
Chopra was dropped shortly after by wicketkeeper Vishal Nagamootoo on 59 and at lunch had progressed to 70 with Williams on 30 and India A 195 for one.
Chopra became the first India A player to score a century on tour before the tea interval which saw Guyana failing to take a wicket and the visitors adding 71 runs. The obdurate Chopra was on 111 and Williams, who also scored a half-century in the first innings, 51 not out.
Williams decided to up the tempo after tea, smashing Chattergoon and Lennox Cush for lofted fours but was plumb lbw to the former from a delivery that kept low. His 61 included five fours in 210 minutes and ended the 134-run stand that spanned the same time.
Chopra and Bandani then enjoyed themselves as stand-in captain Mahendra Nagamootoo employed his part-time bowlers, including the likes of Krishna Arjune and Azeemul Haniff.
Chopra, who hit 11 fours in 405 minutes off 491 balls, finally succumbed to Chattergoon, offering Arjune an easy catch at mid-on.
Avishkar Salvi was adjudged man-of-the-match for his five for 58 in Guyana’s first innings.
While pleased with the six points gained from the match, Guyana’s coach Albert Smith said his players failed to stick to the game plan, especially on the third day, when India A started their second innings, 126 runs in arrears. He felt the openers were allowed to score too freely and ended the day on 136 without loss in 139 minutes of batting.
Smith was also disappointed with some of the tactics employed on the final day although alluding to the fact that the track was good for batting.
India A coach Ashok Malhotra said his team’s batting in the first innings was quite disappointing.
According to Malhotra, India A should have scored more heavily in the first innings as he felt they had a better batting line-up than Guyana but they failed to make use of the placid pitch.
“Our bowlers however brought us back into the game, but McGarrell took the game away from us as he and the tail really wagged. A lead of 25-30 would have put something in the game but eventually it was 126 and this only left two possible results - a draw or a win for Guyana.”
Malhotra was however pleased with the second innings effort, pointing out that his top-order put their heads down with Chopra and Gambhir giving them a very good start.
On his chances of still qualifying for the Carib Shield semifinals, Malhotra said the last two matches have been terrible setbacks, with India A losing outright to the Windward Islands and conceding first innings to Guyana.
The former India Test player acknowledged that the upcoming game against Jamaica would be a tough one, especially with Jamaica expecting to include the five players who were on duty with the West Indies World Cup team. Openers Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds, middle-order batsmen Marlon Samuels and Ricardo Powell and fast bowler Jermaine Lawson are all expected to feature in the Jamaica line-up.
Guyana will be boosted with the inclusion of middle-order batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan for this clash with the Windward Islands at the Albion Community Development Centre ground from Friday