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India fail to restrict Zimbabwe

Debutant Duffin scored 56 and captain Taibu was unbeaten on 61.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2005 13:41 IST

Zimbabwe, who have folded up within three days against major Test-playing nations in the last couple of years, reached 265 for the loss of seven wickets against India in the opening Test here on Tuesday. Debutant Duffin scored 56 and captain Tatenda Taibu was unbeaten on 61 as a lacklustre Indian attack allowed them to cross the 250-run mark.

Taibu anchored the Zimbabwe innings and shared two vital partnerships in the middle and lower order.

Keith Dabengwa hit a sparkling 35 not out that contained a disdainful pull of Anil Kumble to over midwicket fence as he featured in an enterprising partnership with his skipper Taibu. The unbroken eighth-wicket stand between Dabengwa and Taibu was already worth 55 runs and pulled the hosts out of a precarious 210 for seven at one stage.

Zaheer Khan was the pick of the Indian bowlers with three for 68 while Irfan Pathan and Anil Kumble picked two wickets each.

It was a commendable batting performance by Zimbabwe who were steamrolled in their two Tests by New Zealand earlier in the season.

Taibu shared two major stands of 74 and 69 with Dion Ebrahim (24) and Heath Streak (27) for the third and fifth wicket.

The best bowler on view was Harbhajan Singh who searched in vain through his overs to claim the one wicket which would have topped his 200th scalp in his 46th Test. Just before Ebrahim was out, he could have been out to Harbhajan but Kaarthick fumbled with an easy stumping.

Zimbabwe chose to bat first on the morning and after nine uneventful overs, Zaheer Khan accounted for opener Brendon Taylor (13) via a catch to forward short leg after the batsmen attempted a flick off the backfoot.

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Scoreboard
Zimbabwe, Ist Innings
B Taylor c Ghambir b Zaheer13
T Duffin lbw b Pathan56
H Masakadza c Kaartick b Zaheer Khan14
D Ebrahim c and b Pathan24
T Taibu not out61
H Streak c Dravid b Kumble27
lC Coventry lbw b Kumble2
A Blignaut lbw b Zaheer Khan4
K Dabengwa not out35
Extras: (b-1, lb-7, w-1, nb-20) 29
Total: (for seven wkts, 93 overs) 265
Fall of Wickets: 1-25, 2-45, 3-119, 4-124, 5-193, 6-197, 7-210.

Zaheer had another success before his first spell was out when Hamilton Masakdza (14) tried to get inside the line of a rising delivery on the legstump but still gloved it wicketkeeper Dinesh Kaarthick behind the stumps.



Zimbabwe, 75 for 2 at lunch, enjoyed their most dominant batting of the day through Duffin and Ebrahim who drove with elan down the ground before Irfan Pathan made his presence felt in his second spell of the day.



Duffin made 56 from 170 minutes of batting during which he faced 130 balls and hit eight fours. Ebrhaim's vigil lasted 109 minutes and 82 balls and included two boundaries. Zimbabwe now had another useful stand forged between Taibu and Streak as they took to tea without further loss at 167 for 4.

First Published: Sep 14, 2005 01:08 IST