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Friday, December 16, 2011

Sachin Tendulkar sparkles in India's tour opener


SACHIN Tendulkar started what is likely to be his last tour of Australia with a typically classy 92 in India's drawn match against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in Canberra. 
 
The two-day match ended today when rain intervened with the tourists 6-320 after 83.1 overs in reply to the home side's 6-398 on a very flat Manuka Oval pitch.

With the exception of opener Gautam Gambhir, who looked a little edgy in his knock of 35, India's available first-string batsmen looked in ominous touch ahead of the four-Test series against Australia.

Tendulkar was the star and, after going to lunch 13 not out, the 38-year-old unleashed in the second session in facing just 132 balls and smashing 15 boundaries.

The small but vocal crowd of around 2000 were disappointed when Tendulkar and VVS Laxman (57 not out) both retired at tea after combining for a 133-run stand.

However, they'd already seen Rahul Dravid - Tendulkar's only partner in the 13,000 club for Test runs - make 45 in a solid day for India's big three.

Dravid, who is India's captain for the first of two practice games against Chairman's selections, looked in good touch before he was out trying to clear the mid-off fieldsman off the bowling of leg-spinner Cameron Boyce (2-74).

Laxman, who has performed unbelievably well in Australia throughout his career, also looked in impressive nick. He took just 76 balls for his unbeaten stint at the crease and found the fence nine times.

Young opener Ajinkya Rahane (three), who is yet to make his Test debut, missed his opportunity and was out early to promising South Australian quick Jake Haberfield (1-54).

Rahane's partner Gautam Gambhir got himself set before hitting one to Chairman's XI captain Ryan Broad at short cover off the bowling of Victorian off-spinner Glenn Maxwell (1-84).

One-Test quick Peter George failed to make a breakthrough but was the most economical, going for just 38 runs from his 19 overs.

Middle-order batsman Virat Kholi was the only other to fail, out for one caught and bowled to Boyce, while Rohit Sharma (56no) and keeper Wriddhiman Saha (23no) were the unbeaten batsmen for India at the close of play.

Source : The Australian

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