2nd Match: India v New Zealand at Colombo, 20 Jul 2001
Rex Clementine

India innings: 25 overs,
Pre-game: Toss and teams,
New Zealand innings: 25 overs, 50 overs,


INDIAN BATSMEN STRUGGLE AGAINST KIWI PACE

An Indian team sans Sachin Tendulkar struggled against the Kiwi fast bowlers who ran through the cream of their batting as they chased a modest 212. All three fast bowlers, Darryl Tuffey, Kyle Mills and Dion Nash caused problems for the Indians who were struggling at 68 for five at the end of the 25th over.

India who started with Yuvraj Singh and Sourav Ganguly never looked comfortable. Singh, who opened the innings for India for the first time in his career was trapped in front by Kyle Mills. The batsman, shuffling across, missed the ball and umpire Gamini Silva took a while before ruling him out. Singh made six in 15 deliveries with one boundary.

Sourav Gangulyís poor form continued as he departed for five in 17 balls. The batsman, pushing at Darryl Tuffey, found the safe hands of Chris Harris at backward point and started to walk back to the pavilion.

Tuffey bowled an impressive first spell of 7-2-7-1 and troubled both Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman on more than one occasion. He was replaced by Dion Nash at the Khettarama End and eased off the pressure with his second ball by bowling a short one to Laxman which was dispatched to the midwicket boundary. But then onwards he continued to bowl a fine line and length.

India had scored only 36 runs at the end of the 15th over with two wickets down. Immediately after the fielding restrictions were over, skipper Fleming introduced Daniel Vettori from the Maligawatta End replacing Kyle Mills.

More disappointment awaited the Indians, who looked up to Dravid to guide them to safety, when he got out having made 15 in 36 balls. The batsman, trying to work the ball on the on-side, mistimed the delivery and was easily caught by Matthew Sinclair at extra cover off the bowling of Dion Nash.

Hemang Badani came at the fall of Dravid and lasted only 17 minutes. The 24-year-old from Tamil Nadu chased at a wide delivery and was caught behind by Adam Parore giving Dion Nash his second wicket. Badani made just two off seven balls.

Three balls later Nash struck again, this time dismissing Virender Shewag with a rising delivery which the batsman, trying to defend, skied to Chris Harris at backward point. Shewag was gone for a duck to leave India struggling at 50 for five. They need another 143 runs with seven wicket in hand at a stiff asking rate of 5.72 an over.



ASTLEíS LONE BATTLE HELPS NEW ZEALAND TO 211

A lone battle by Nathan Astle, who made a chanceless 117, helped New Zealand to 211 in their allotted 50 overs, in their second match of the Coca Cola Cup against India at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. It was Astle's 10th ODI hundred.

Astle, who scored more than half of New Zealandís score, received little support from the other end as most of the Kiwi batsmen got a start but failed to capitalize. Other than him, only skipper Stephen Fleming crossed the 20 mark.

Craig McMillan was the third highest scorer of the New Zealand innings. He was batting sensibly with Astle when a sudden rush of blood saw him jump out of the crease to Yuvraj Singh as if to hit the bowler over his head. But McMillan was forced into a defensive stroke and completely missed the ball to be stumped by Sameer Dighe for 17 off 29 balls with a boundary.

Lou Vincent joined Nathan Astle and the batsmen played the Indian spinners well for a brief while, putting up a 50 run partnership for the fourth wicket in 65 balls. But the introduction of Harbhajan Singh for his second spell from the Maligawatta End put the breaks on the New Zealanders.

Lou Vincent, trying to sweep Harbajan Singh, top edged a delivery to Yuvraj Singh at short square leg. He made 16 off 33 balls. The introduction of Harbhajan dried up the runs for the Kiwis. His last four overs just cost 10 runs and New Zealand could manage only 16 between the 40th and the 45th over. Harbhajan finished his quota of 10 overs for just 25 runs.

Chris Harris was run out in an unfortunate manner. Astle pushed at a Harbhajan delivery and Harris who was at the non strikerís end set out for a single without any response from his partner . Wicket keeper Sameer Dighe was quick and returned the ball to Singh who removed the stumps with Harris a long way away.

Adam Parore, the top scorer of the previous game, batted as if it was a Test Match. He faced 29 deliveries for his nine before he came out of the crease and missed the ball to be stumped by Dighe off Hemang Badani. New Zealand were 190 for six when he departed.

Fast bowlers Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra continued the good work done by the spinners as they kept the Kiwi run flow under check. Zaheer, returning for his second spell, bowled Dion Nash for five through a superb yorker.

The seventh wicket to fall was that of top scorer Astle who was run out. The batsman pulled Khan to midwicket and failed to beat an accurate throw by Harbhajan Singh as he returned for the second run. He made 117 in 154 balls and 205 minutes with nine boundaries and a six.



NATHAN ASTLE HOLDS FIRM IN NEW ZEALAND EFFORT

Despite the early loss of Matthew Sinclair, Nathan Astle steadied New Zealand to go past the 100 run mark by the 25th over in their second One Day International of the Coca Cola Cup against India at the R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.

New Zealand got off to a disastrous start when Zaheer Khan bowling from the Maligawatta End trapped Matthew Sinclair for a duck. The batsman, who got out in similar fashion in the first game against Sri Lanka, played forward at a full-length delivery, which swung back and struck him on the pads.

New Zealand also would have lost Astle in the next over bowled by Ashish Nehra. The right-hander defended the delivery and the ball rolled on to hit the stumps, but luckily didn't dislodge the bails.

Despite losing the early wicket Astle and captain Stephen Fleming kept the score board ticking. Alhough they managed just 14 runs in the first five overs, 35 runs came in the second five. New Zealandís 50 and the half-century partnership for the second wicket came in the 11th over of the innings.

By the time the fielding restrictions ended, the pair had pushed the score to 70. But two overs later, skipper Fleming going for a drive, top edged a Harbhajan Singh delivery to Virender Shewag at first slip. The captain made 25 runs with 4 boundaries in 46 balls and 77 minutes.

With the field spread out after the fielding restrictions and with the departure of Fleming, runs dried up for the Black Caps between the 15th and the 20th overs when they just managed six runs.

But Astle and McMillan then pushed the run rate and at the end of the 25th over, New Zealand were 106 for two with Fleming on 17 and Astle on 52. Astleís 50 came in 104 minutes and 76 balls with six fours. Harbhajan Singh bowled an impressive first spell picking up a wicket for 15 runs in six overs.



NEW ZEALAND WIN THE TOSS AND ELECT TO BAT

New Zealand skipper, Stephen Fleming, won the toss and elected to bat in the second match of the Coca Cola Cup at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.

This is Indiaís first game of the tournament while New Zealand have played a game against Sri Lanka which they lost by 16 runs at the same venue.

The Kiwis have brought in Dion Nash for this game in place of Jacob Oram who played the last game against Sri Lanka. India have gone in with just the one specialist spinner in Harbhajan Singh. Exciting middle order batsman Yuvraj Singh has been enlisted as Sourav Ganguly's new opening partner.

New Zealand team: MS Sinclair, NJ Astle, *SP Fleming, CD McMillan, L Vincent, CZ Harris, +AC Parore, DJ Nash, DL Vettori, KD Mills, DR Tuffey.

India team: *SC Ganguly, R Dravid, VVS Laxman, HK Badani, Yuvraj Singh, V Shewag, RS Sodhi, +SS Dighe, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, A Nehra.

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Date-stamped : 20 Jul2001 - 22:33