June 30, 2003

India A draw with Durham

Wisden CricInfo staff

India A 482 for 9 and 95 for 3 (Rayudu 29*, Patel 15*) drew with Durham 333 for 9 dec

India A's hopes of forcing victory on the final day against Durham were scuppered by the weather. After reaching 95 for 3 at lunch, just a single over of play was possible in the afternoon session as rain swept across the ground. With little chance of a resumption, a draw was declared at 3pm.

India A's captain Shiv Sunder Das added 31 to his first-innings 125, while the 17-year-old Ambati Rayudu was left unbeaten on 29. Nick Hatch was Durham's most successful bowler, picking up 2 for 23 in 12 overs.

India A's new coach Sandeep Patil, the man who guided Kenya to the World Cup semi-finals, was pleased with his side's start to the tour. He was, however, disappointed that the seam bowlers had not backed up the efforts of his spinners Amit Mishra and Murali Kartik, who shared seven wickets between them.

"It is not an acceptable excuse for our seamers to say that it was a flat pitch," said Patil. "They have to learn to adapt to any conditions if they want to have a Test future. Also our batters were a little over-cautious because they want to please the selectors. We got into a good position in the first innings and I felt we could have accelerated.

Even Mishra and Kartik couldn't escape a cautionary note or two, as Patil revealed they would be fined for conceding 23 no-balls between them. "They couldn't explain it," he added, "but perhaps they were getting excited when the wickets started to fall and they were rushing too much."