India defeat Australian PM's XI by a run

A sparkling century by Hemang Badani helped India beat the Prime Minister's XI by just one run in an exhibition one-day match.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2004 14:08 IST

A sparkling century by Hemang Badani helped India beat the Prime Minister's XI by just one run in an exhibition one-day match at the Manuka Oval on Wednesday.

Batting first India made 254 for 8 in their allotted 50 overs and in reply the Prime Minister's Eleven finished on 253 for 6.

The Indians who wore blue, to PM XI's whites, rested their major batting stars -- Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman -- but still prevailed thanks to Badani's 100 and also some splendid bowling in the final overs.

The hosts needed 15 runs from the last two overs and eight from the last over bowled by Amit Bhandari but fell short, as Steve Waugh, history's most successful Test captain, bowed out as a beaten man in his last match against a touring team.

Left-hand batsman Badani batted with purpose after opener Sanjay Bangar grafted 33 from 63 balls with three fours.

Bangar and partner Parthiv Patel (19) took some time to get going against Australia's new fast bowling hopes Shaun Tait and Damien Wright and later Rohan Gavaskar (26) and Rahul Dravid (15) wasted decent starts.

Yuvraj Singh, returning from an ear infection, did not stretch himself to reach his crease as he was run out for 16.

Badani was in outstanding touch, dabbing the ball here and there and producing some extremely unorthodox strokes, including one pick from outside the off-stump in which he deposited the ball among the spectators at the midwicket fence.

Badani also slammed fast bowler Wright for a straight six with a certain nonchalance and arrogance.

Waugh switched himself from slips and his standard midwicket position from time to time and earned huge applause when he caught acting captain Dravid rather smartly. He then brought himself on to bowl and earned further cheers when Irfan Pathan was dismissed off the first delivery through a catch by the third-man fielder.

When the Indians finished with their stint at the crease, Waugh asked local player Cade Brown to lead the side into the pavilion. Brown took a breathtaking catch when he ran from long on and took a diving catch at long-off to dismiss Ajit Agarkar (5) and it was as good a catch as ever seen on a cricket field.

The break between the innings saw Australian Prime Minister John Howard take the two captains out for lunch. Waugh overstayed -- because of formalities, speeches and the Australian of the Year trophy which Howard formally handed over to him, even as his side began its chase in the middle. The Indian captain was presented a wine case by the Prime Minister.

The hosts began their chase earnestly even as Ashish Nehra and Amit Bhandari bowled great opening spells. But the crowd's attention was largely centred on autographs they could collect from the Indian stars.

Anil Kumble moved at an inch-a-minute pace while VVS Laxman stood at the main gate to sign autographs for a serpentine queue. Irfan Pathan, at fine leg, asked a bat to be thrown in near the boundary for autograph and in no time it rained bats near his feet.

Bhandari looked quicker than Nehra and took an early wicket but it was the latter who took out David Hussey, the Victorian batsman who is averaging 100 in Pura Cup this summer.

Marcus North, the left-handed Western Australian batsman, smashed 74 from 96 balls with seven fours and shared a 86-run fourth wicket stand with Brown which gave the impetus to the PM XI's innings.

Brown himself continued, after North had been dismissed pulling Sanjay Bangar uppishly, lasting till the 45th over when he hit Ashish Nehra straight to mid-on after making 80 with his team placed at 211 for 5.

In between, Waugh had come in and gone for 7, sweeping Murali Kartik to midwicket fence after taking 10 balls to get off the mark.

First Published: Jan 28, 2004 13:04 IST