India A hold edge going into final

Updated: 28 September 2008 09:33 IST

After their morale-boosting win over Australia A, India A will have the edge when the two teams clash in the final of the triangular series on Friday.

India A hold edge going into final

Chennai:

After their morale-boosting three-wicket win over Australia A, India A will have the edge when the two cricket teams clash in the final of the triangular series at the M A Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.

The win, third in a row, in Wednesday's inconsequential last league match helped Indians to settle scores for their 17-run loss against the Australians in the rain-marred first match in Hyderabad.

India, who scored 277 for seven to wrap up the league phase with 13 points, would also have the home advantage.

But weather might play spoilsport as pre-monsoon rains lashed the city since last evening, to be precise minutes after the covers were put on after the stumps were drawn.

Met officials have forecast cloudy skies with chances of showers till Friday morning.

Because of the overnight rains, players did not have net practice.

India had earlier scored back-to-back victories against New Zealand, which crashed out of the tournament managing just one win against Australia in their first tie.

Suresh Raina, leading the side in the absence of S Badrinath, doing duty for the Rest of India as a last minute replacement to injured Sachin Tendulkar, did a creditable job by not only notching up the victory but also finding his touch with the bat at the right time.

Captaining a side at this level for the first time, Raina scored 46 quick runs and stitched up a vital 83-ball 85-run fourth-wicket partnership with Rohit Sharma (51).

But the performance of the top three batsmen has been the cause of worry to the Indians.

Though the hosts went in for a change yesterday, bringing in Jayadev Shah in place of Swapnil Asnodkar, who failed in all three previous league games, the other opener Robin Uthappa continued with his miserable run, having tallied only 33 runs in four outings.

Shah made a useful 26 off just 28 ball and added 40 runs with debutant Ravi Teja (33) for the second wicket.

Yusuf Pathan, in good nick with a 148 and a half-century so far, provides solid support in the middle. Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who came in for Dinesh Karthik, also did well with an unbeaten 25.

With the flat Chepauk wicket playing true, a run feast could be in store on Friday if the batsmen apply themselves.

The bowling attack is spearheaded by Praveen Kumar, who has been consistent in taking wickets besides being largely economical, Irfan Pathan and D Kulkarni. Piyush Chawla, who played a cameo knock on Wednesday scoring 25 runs of 11 balls, has also been amongst wickets.

As for Australia, their batting has revolved around David Hussey, Phillip Hughes and Luke Ronchi, who sparkled with a 108 against India in the first match.

In bowling, Shaun Tait, rested on Wednesday, has been the spearhead after Doug Bollinger and Peter Siddle were selected in the Test squad for the current Indian tour. None of the slow bowlers bothered the Indian batsmen and left arm spinner Xavier Doherty came for some harsh treatment, conceding 46 runs from five overs.



Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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