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India Green caught Red-handed

cricket Updated: Oct 10, 2009 02:06 IST
G Krishnan
G Krishnan
Hindustan Times
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Shreyas Manohar, a ninth standard student, gave running commentary of an imaginary match between Australia and India at the VCA Stadium here. Words flew fluently from the youngster's mouth.

Inspired by Tony Greig, Shreyas wants to follow in the footsteps of Harsha Bhogle. He sought advice from TV commentators here on how to go about it and improve further.

As much as Shreyas was fluent, the scene in the middle was just the opposite on Friday afternoon.

The Suresh Raina-led India Green's batting performance against Red was nothing but lackadaisical.

The captain himself played an irresponsible shot. Trying to pull Munaf Patel early and missing the angle of the delivery, he was bowled in the 14th over.

The approach of the other Green batsmen was similar, allowing the Red bowlers to show impressive figures at the end of the innings.

India Green made a disappointing 223 for seven, 17 fours and two sixes making up 35 per cent of the total.

India Red openers Shikhar Dhawan (68) and Murali Vijay (104) made light work of the

target, helping the team win by eight wickets in 38.4 overs. Their 155-run partnership helped their side win with a bonus point, having met the target inside 40 overs, and enter Sunday's final with 5 points. They will face Saturday's winner between India Blue (4 points) and Green (-1 point) in the final.

Vijay, whose only Test appearance was at the same venue against Australia last year, has only enhanced his claims for an ODI slot against Australia later this month.

But the question is where to slot him? His fourth List A hundred is proof good enough to show that he is suitable for the limited overs too.

Vijay and Dhawan cashed in on the umpteen misfielding by the Green. Saurabh Tiwary top-scored with 66 and then Anirudha Srikkanth, who showed his mettle by making 58 at number six, gave the total some respectability.