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Report: Derbyshire vs Indians – Day 3

Vijay, Rahane lead an easy chase for the Indians

After three days of thorough match practice, the Indians finished their second warm-up game, against Derbyshire by chasing down 142 in 45 overs to take the Royal Crown Derby Trophy by five wickets. Gautam Gambhir (21* off 27 balls) scored the winning runs to end the game with 8.3 overs to spare.

After Derbyshire and India took turns to bat on the first and second day respectively, it was agreed that the 90 overs on the third and final day would be divided equally between the two teams. With the Indians declaring for their overnight score of 341 for 6, Derbs batted for the first 45 overs and scored 156 for 3, setting the visitors a target o 143 in 45 overs.

Shikhar Dhawan got out for his second low score in the match, trapped lbw by Matt Hogginbottom for nine. Murali Vijay got useful 41 runs under his belt, laced with some fine drives on the off-side before retiring out. He faced 77 balls and his eight fours. Ajinkya Rahane followed suit after scoring 39.

Not having batted in the first innings, it was a good chance for Rohit Sharma to get a few runs before the Test series starts. But he failed to do so, lobbing a catch to slip off left-arm-spinner, David Wainwright for 10.

The morning session was quiet in terms of the run-flow as the Indian pacers kept things in control. Bhuvneshwar Kumar got Ben Slater (0) to edge one into the hands of Murali Vijay at first slip in his second over. Bhuvi was impressive throughout his spell, which ended with excellent figures of 6-3-5-1.

Mohammad Shami, who did not take field in the first innings as a precaution for a mild calf strain, came early to the ground with bowling coach, Joe Dawes and the physical trainer. He practiced for a while and warmed up with a few rounds of the field before opening the bowling with Bhuvi.

He bowled seven overs in his first spell, two maidens, for 23 runs. Shami made up for is first innings absence by coming in for a second spell in the afternoon session, in which he accounted for the wicket of Paul Borrington, getting him out lbw.

Ishant Sharma sent down his best and most economical spell on the tour so far, bowling seven overs for 10 runs. He could very well have ended up with the wicket of Borrington had Murali Vijay not fluffed a simple catch at second slip.

Stuart Binny, after scoring an unbeaten 81 in the first innings, delivered with the ball with figures of 1 for 17 from six overs. Interestingly, among slower bowlers, it was Vijay who bowled most overs (six) with Ashwin sending down five and Jadeja four.

Shirin Sadikot

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Report: Derbyshire vs Indians – Day 2

Binny (81*) and Pujara (81 retd) among runs as Indians overtake Derbs total

After spending the first day in the field, it was time for the Indians to have a bat under the bright sunshine at the County Cricket Ground in Derby. After batting for a day and 90 overs, they put up 341 on the board with five batsmen dismissed and one, Cheteshwar Pujara, retired on 81.

At the end of the second day’s play, the Indians had taken a 15-run lead over Derbyshire with Stuart Binny (81*) and Ajinkya Rahane (13*) the unbeaten batsmen.

MS Dhoni, who didn’t get to bat in the first practice match, against Leicestershire, had a decent hit in the middle and scored an attacking 46 off 56 balls. His knock was laced with four fours and a six. Ravindra Jadeja, who was dropped at first slip on a duck, eventually got out for 45.

Things didn’t begin too well for the Indians, as they lost both openers, Murali Vijay (6) and Shikhar Dhawan (6) inside the first 10 overs. While Shikhar edged one to the keeper off the bowling of right-arm pacer Mark Turner, Vijay was wrapped lbw by Ben Cotton.

Virat Kohli (36) and Cheteshwar Pujara took the Indian innings forward slowly but steadily before the former played a Cotton delivery on to his stumps.

The Derbyshire pacers were in good control, not giving the batsmen too many hit-me balls. However, there were a few fine shots that eased out of the bats of both of them, punctuating the silence with a mild applause from the stands.

As the game broke for Tea, Shikhar went to the indoor nets facility and had a few hits against the bowling machine.

Shirin Sadikot

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