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The Electronic Telegraph Tour Match: Northamptonshire v India
Peter Deeley - 21 May 1996

Indians suffer double setback

Northamptonshire (195-5) beat Indians (228-9) on a faster scoring rate

India's last game before the Texaco Trophy internationals brought them the double blow of a first tour defeat and an injury to their captain Mohammad Azharuddin.

Neither setback is likely to be seen as fatal, however, in terms of the bigger tasks ahead. Until late in the day of a rain- affected match the tourists continued to suffer the vagaries of this miserable English spring: Azharuddin will almost certainly play at the Oval tomorrow unless his damaged finger worsens considerably.

In some ways the game was a boon for India. Only one place is uncertain for the first one-day international and the way Paras Mhambrey bowled, taking two of the Northants wickets to fall, suggests his medium-fast pace will be preferred to that of another spinner.

Sachin Tendulkar seems to have come into form at the right mo- ment. His 88 came off 108 balls, including 10 boundaries, and his run-out probably turned the game in favour of the home side.

Sanjay Manjrekar played a ball into the short midwicket area and set off for an impossible single. Paul Taylor swooped and threw down the stumps with Tendulkar well short. But for that the India vice-captain would surely have gone on to his century.

Taylor was the pick of the Northants attack - too late though to impress the England selectors for the one-dayers - while Tony Penberthy claimed three wickets in the final over.

Eight overs were lost to the rain but Mal Loye similarly seemed capable of winning the game for Northants with 83, his highest of the season, coming off 95 deliveries with nine boun- daries until he was caught with three overs left. He shared in a stand of 93 in 24 overs with Rob Bailey, who was run-out when he failed to ground his bat going for a single.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk