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Joseph hits ton against lacklustre India

In reply to Antigua's 300, the visitors were 33 for one at close on the first day.

india Updated: May 31, 2006 11:40 IST

Indian bowlers put up an unimpressive display as Antigua and Barbuda XI captain Sylvester Joseph cracked a splendid century on the first day of the two-day practice game at the Police Recreation Ground here on Tuesday.

Joseph batted for four and a quarter hours in smashing an unbeaten 128 from 179 balls, smashing 15 fours and two sixes to power Antigua to 300 in 72-odd overs.

The visitors were 33 for one at close.

Wasim Jaffer was batting on 25 while V V S Laxman was yet to open his account.

Electing to bat, Antigua had little trouble in handling a lacklustre Indian attack.

In a game in which "batters could bat and bowlers could bowl", India's new ball bowlers Irfan Pathan and Sreesanth hardly posed any problems to the locals.

Opener Daniel Thomas (30) combined with number three Josepsh to take Antgua XI to 74 for one by lunch break.

Munaf Patel reaped the lone success when he had the other opener Michael Challenger caught behind for 18.

Joseph, who was not out 44 at tea, opened his shoulders after the break and reached his century even as wickets kept falling from the other end.

The right hander, who was captain of West Indies one-day team in Sri Lanka a couple of seasons ago and also played in all four Tests, took on all comers from the Indian team and generally had the measure.

It was in the final session when the hosts were using the long handle that India picked up six wickets, with Sreesanth claiming 3 for 46.

Patel had a hand in two dismissals while VRV Singh, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan and Ramesh Powar all had a wicket each.

India ended their miserable day when Virender Sehwag cut a short delivery from Adam Sanford fiercely and was caught at cover point for six.

Brief scores:

Antigua and Barbuda XI: 300 in 72.2 overs (D Thomas 30, S Joseph 128 no, G Skepple 35; Sreesanth 3-46, M Patel 2-39).

India: 33 for one in 10 overs (W Jaffer 25 batting, V V S Laxman zero batting).