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|November 28, 1999||
Indians rammed by the BullsThe Rediff team
The Indians were bundled out for a paltry 204 at stumps on the third day of their tour game against Queensland, setting a target of 80 runs to get with an entire day to play. Reckless batting by the Indians proved to be their downfall as they collapsed from a healthy 125/2 to 204 all out.
The Indians, considered to be good players of spin, were snapped up by the guile of rookie spinner Anderson who grabbed 4 wickets including the wicket of Dravid and first innings century maker Laxman. Test discard Scott Muller snapped up another three wickets to take his match figures to 6/64 and claimed the prize wicket of Sachin yet again in the match.
Indian fast bowler T Kumaran pressed his claim for a place in the first test starting next month with a five-wicket haul. Kumaran finished with 5-68, which included a burst of 4-14, to restrict the Bulls lead to 124 by bowling them out for 401 this morning.
Early this morning, the Indians hoped to restrict the lead to below 100 runs when Kumaran had Bichel caught behind without adding to his overnight score. But Adam Dale (24) and Scott Muller (15no) combined to put a 31-run partnership before Dale became Kumaran's fifth victim edging an off-drive on to his leg stump.
India lost their first wicket when Devang Gandhi nicked one from Bichel to Seccombe with the score at 18 in only the seventh over. Gandhi was dismissed in similar fashion in the first innings raising doubts about his possible inclusion as the opener for the first Test.
Sadagopan Ramesh (12) and VVS Laxman (4) steered India safely to lunch.
Ramesh was back in the pavilion soon after lunch when Stuart Law snapped him up of the bowling of Scott Muller for 13. Ramesh batted for over an hour and found stroke-making difficult with a single four in his 52-ball stay at the crease.
Rahul Dravid, who had a duck in the first innings got together with Laxman and set about repairing the early damage. The two batsmen steadied the scoring and put together 85 run in almost 23 overs at just under 4 an over. Laxman seemed to be the more fluent batsman of the two and found the boundary with consistent ease. His innings of 73 included 13 fours and came off just 101 deliveries.
Dravid on the other hand played the waiting game and got 43 runs in his 2-hour stay at the crease with 7 boundaries and a six.
Dravid's dismissal triggered off a collapse with the last 7 wickets falling for a mere 36 runs. Bharadwaj continued his dismal form when he nicked Muller to the keeper without scoring.
Sachin stayed at the crease for an hour and reached the boundary on 5 occassions. After Muller dismissed Sachin for 27, the Indian team collapsed from 176 for 6 to 204 all out.
MSK Prasad and Kumble lead a brief reprieve before he was trapped in front by Bichel for 16 runs. The whole team was back in the hut in 71 overs and in less than four hours.
Kumaran's performance and Laxman's form were the only bright spots in an otherwise lack lustre performance by the Indians.
Mail Prem Panicker
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