Indians struggle after Carseldine hundred ... again
QAS 304 and 208 (Carseldine 109*) drew with Indians 208 for 9 dec and 121 for 4 (Ramesh 37*, Ganguly 35)
Lee Carseldine made the Indians suffer as he notched up his second century of the match
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After three days of searching cricket, the Indians played out a draw against the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS). Set 305 to win, the Indians suffered yet another top-order collapse, but reached 121 for 4 thanks to sensible batting by Saurav Ganguly (35), Sadagoppan Ramesh (37 not out), and Rahul Dravid (20 not out).
Earlier, riding on Lee Carseldine's second hundred of the match, QAS declared at 208, galloping at four runs an over. Interestingly, India had taken 20 overs more to make an identical score in their first innings.
The third day threw up more questions than answers, as India's horror run with both bat and ball continued. At one point, the Indians were at 32 for 3. What's worrisome was that the three dismissed batsmen were Deep Dasgupta, Virender Sehwag, and Akash Chopra - all prospective openers. Ganguly and Ramesh then put on 56, before the former perished for an aggressive 35.
Unlike the Indians, Carseldine found the pitch and the attack to his liking. His unbeaten knock of 109 came of 155 balls, and was laced with 18 boundaries. And following the first innings script, the other batsmen played around his century to put the game beyond the Indians' reach.
Irfan Pathan and Anil Kumble picked up two wickets each, to complete a reasonably successful tour match. Kumble ended with match figures of 6 for 102, and has been the one Indian bowler to impress on tour so far. Ajit Agarkar, though wicketless, bowled economically. With Balaji's non-performance, the fast bowlers for the first Test will most likely be three out of Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Agarkar and Pathan.