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Report: Derbyshire vs Indians – Day 1

Indian bowlers toil on a bright day; batsmen take time out in the nets

The Indians had a good long day in the field as sun shined brightly over the County Ground in Derby. The bowlers finished Day one of their second practice match, against Derbyshire, conceding 326 runs for 5 wickets in 90 overs.

All the bowlers except Mohammad Shami had a bowl on the day. Shami didn’t take field as a precautionary measure for a mild strain in his left calf. He will bowl in the second innings, if there is one.

While the bowlers sweated it out, the batsmen took turns to go off the match field and spend time in the nets behind the ground. MS Dhoni was in the nets in the beginning of the last session, handing over the keeping gloves to Wriddhiman Saha and captaincy duties to Virat Kohli. He returned on the field later and also bowled the last over of the day, much to the delight of the crowd. Every ball from the Indian captain was met with applause.

Among the Indian pacers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the most impressive in terms of control and accuracy with figures of 13-3-24-0. Pankaj Singh (14-3-63-1) started off well, opening the bowling with Bhuvi and drew first blood by getting opener Paul Borrington out for a duck. But there were a few expensive overs in his second spell, including a 20-run over against Wes Durston, who top scored with 95.

Against Varun Aaron, the Derbyshire batsmen used the bowler’s pace to score a few quick runs. Ishwar Pandey bowled decently and also got a wicket against his name when he clean bowled Chesney Hughes in his first spell in the morning.

Stuart Binny bowled well within his limitations and stuck to his strength of being accurate. He was rewarded with a return catch that got rid of Durston.

After striking in his first over – the last before lunch – Jadeja continued to hold one end for 10 more overs. He added to his wickets when he got half-centurion Ben Slater (54) caught behind by MS Dhoni. Jadeja’s spell read 11-3-27-2.

Ishant Sharma continued his struggle with the front foot from Leicester, bowling nine no-balls in 12 overs. He also bowled far too many loose deliveries for the batsmen to score some easy runs. He finished with 12-1-49-0.

Shirin Sadikot

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Report: Leicestershire vs Indians – Day 3

Robson, Smith score tons as Leics end the match with a lead over the Indians

Angus Robson (126) and Greg Smith (101) made merry against the Indian bowlers to take Leicestershire to 349 when stumps were drawn at the end of Day 3. The captains decided to shake hands with an hour and 22 overs to go in the match.

The final session began with centurions Robson and Smith retiring from their innings, making way for Dan Redfern (58) and Michael Thornely (23*) in the middle.

Ishant Sharma, who was taken for 58 runs in his eight overs, came back strongly to claim two wickets in his final over and hence finished with 9-0-64-2. He got Redfern caught at mid-off while Tom Wells edged one to first slip.

Pankaj Singh (11-3-46-1) and Ravindra Jadeja (11-2-57-0) bowled the most number of overs while R Ashwin made a late appearance in the match, bowling two overs of the last four.

After the second day of the match was washed out, the Indian bowlers came out to bowl under the overcast morning skies on Day-3.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Pankaj Singh opened the bowling and had pretty contrasting first session.

Bhuvi was on an all-out attacking mode, often bowling with four slips, a gully and a point. He bowled fuller and swung the ball. In the first over, Bhuvi got Angus Robson to edge one only to watch the ball race away to the fence past the clip cordon. There were a couple of close lbw shouts as well but no wicket for the seamer.

Bhuvi’s extremely attacking field gave Robson a better chance to clear the ropes, which he did. By lunch, he had conceded 46 runs from seven overs, including 10 boundaries. Robson was the batsman who scored all the boundaries off Bhuvi.

Pankaj, on the other hand, began with two maiden overs and got rid of Leicestershire captain, Matthew Boyce in the eighth over. It was a stunning one-handed catch by Ajinkya Rahane at third slip that got the Indians their only wicket in the session. After bowling five tight overs, Pankaj got clobbered for three fours by Greg Smith in his sixth to end his first spell with 6-2-22-1.

After the extended lunch, Ishant resumed the proceedings for India and struggled with his rhythm. In his first two overs, he went for 27 runs, bowled six front foot no-balls and got hit for five fours. Shami, who partnered Ishant at the other end, started off with a sharp and quick first over.

Shami looked the best of the Indian bowlers in the post-lunch session as sunlight emerged from amidst the clouds, rendering the conditions better for batting. He bowled full and fast, keeping it tight and in control. Before he went off the field, Shami had delivered figures of 6-1-25-0.

Varun Aaron and Ishwar Pandey came on to the field with an hour left in the session. While Aaron bowled six overs, Ishwar bowled three. With 10 minutes to go to Tea, Ravindra Jadeja was introduced into the attack. His two overs fetched 17 runs, including the successive straight sixes by Smith to bring up his century.

Shirin Sadikot

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