January 28, 2001

Mane's unbeaten century puts India in command

India Under-19s are in the driver's seat, with Vinayak Mane unbeaten on a classy 114 at close of play on the second day at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad, on Sunday.

England resumed at 256/4 in the morning, and crumbled to 316 all out, ten minutes before the luncheon break. England lost their last six wickets for just 60 runs in 140 minutes.

Gary Pratt did not trouble the scorers today. He was bowled off an inside edge, going for a square cut off Nitin Aggarwal to the third ball of the day. England never recovered from the shock of losing Pratt for 114.

Every batsman who came out was in a mindset to cling on to dear life. Aggarwal was impressive in his opening spell, bowling a good line and length. The nightwatchman Justin Bishop was dropped by wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra off Amit Mishra. The Indian ground fielding showed a lot of improvement, but their catching has been dismal.

The home team was forced to take the new ball after 100 overs, after a long conversation between the umpires and the Indian players. It is mandatory to change the ball after 100 overs have been bowled.

The third ball of the 101st over claimed Bishop, lbw to Aggarwal for just two runs. Chris Tremlett, who came in next, became the second to benefit from Ratra's charity behind the stumps. Aggarwal was the bowler to suffer this time.

Tremlett did not survive for long; he was lbw to Vidyut for just nine runs leaving the English colts struggling at 276/7. England had crawled to 293 when Mark Wallace was foxed by Amit Mishra to be bowled for ten.

Kyle Hogg did not survive very long, caught at mid on by YG Rao for a duck, off the bowling of Mishra. The last wicket pair of Robert Ferley and Andrew McGarry added 19 runs.

Aggarwal was brought back into the attack and success followed soon as McGarry was trapped in front of the wicket for eight. Ferley remained unbeaten on a valuable 29. Aggarwal and Mishra finished with the impressive figures of 17.3-6-50-4 and 36-8-96-4 respectively.

The Indian innings started with a bang. McGarry was smashed out of the attack by Gautam Gambhir and Vinayak Mane. Gambhir played a lovely innings of 65 off just 67 balls, helping to put on 112 runs for the first wicket with Mane. Ferley's first over went for 14 runs as Gambhir went after the bowling.

Gambhir was in complete command, striking the ball cleanly for nine boundaries. He was dismissed going for a drive off Hogg; the ball stopped a little and all Gambhir could do was give Pratt an easy catch.

Mane, who is a Sachin Tendulkar clone from Mumbai, reached his hundred off 132 balls in 164 minutes. He hit two sixes and ten fours in his second century of the series. Ferley was lofted on two occasions for huge sixes. His chanceless innings so far has been one of composure and confidence. Apart from the two sixes, the hook shot he played off McGarry early in his innings was the shot of the day.

Ferley dismissed Ishan Ganda who looked out of sorts, never forcing the issue. Ganda made 18 before he lobbed the ball up to Pratt, who had to run backwards at cover to take a good catch. India Under-19s were 189/2 at that stage.

YG Rao hung around for a while, adding 26 runs for the third wicket with Mane. Rao, who was beaten outside the off stump by Bishop, chased the following ball too; the ball took the edge and flew to the keeper Mark Wallace. Rao made just 13 runs before falling at 215.

At close of play India colts were 220/3 in 52 overs. Alind Naidu is unbeaten on four. Ferley, the left arm spinner, bowled 19 overs unchanged, to pick up one wicket for 85 runs.