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The Electronic Telegraph Warm-up match: Leicestershire v India
DJ Rutnagur at Leicester - 7 May 1999

Rescue act to no avail for India

India (219-7) v Leicestershire. Match abandoned as a draw

India, playing the first of three warm-up games before meeting Zimbabwe in their opening World Cup match at the same venue, yesterday had to overcome a bad start to muster a respectable score against a Leicestershire attack that was below full strength.

Rain, which led to the contest being abandoned, stayed away just long enough for India to complete their innings.

The rescue operation, following the dismissal of Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly before the score had reached 20, was initiated by Rahul Dravid and Mohamed Azharuddin, who put on 95, and sustained by vice-captain Ajay Jadeja with an unbeaten 54.

James Ormond accounted for both openers. Tendulkar pummelled the second ball he received through the covers for four, but then fell lbw. Ganguly was caught at square-leg in clipping a half-volley off his legs.

Dravid, neat and stately as always, and Azharuddin, batting in a manner appropriate to India's precarious position, presented a challenge to the authority of Ormond and David Millns, who bowled a disciplined spell.

In each of the last five overs before the fielding restrictions ended, they contrived to hit a four and momentum was gained.

Azharuddin, with 43 off 86 balls, was caught at mid-wicket from a deflection and Dravid, who made 60 off 95 balls, with six fours, was bowled behind his legs sweeping at off-spinner Tim Mason. Jadeja, only nine then, had only 12 overs remaining in which to lead India to a challenging score.

He had just cut loose with the first of his three sixes, a straight hit off Mason, when, with five overs remaining, Robin Singh fell to a superb catch at backward square-leg by Dominic Williamson following a hefty pull at a full toss.

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