January 4, 2001

Rest of India lose early wickets

Waleed Hussain from Mumbai

The atmosphere at the MIG ground in Mumbai on the opening day of the three day match between Rest of India under-19 and the touring England under-19 was great for cricket. The pitch stayed true the entire day and assisted both the spinners and medium pacers. The sun was shining bright and steady breeze kept the conditions cool.

The tourists were disappointed to be bowled out for 210 off 76.4 overs, shortly after the tea interval on Thursday. The wrecker-in-chief was the Karnataka offspinner Mulewa Dharmichand, who picked up five wickets in the day. Gary Pratt topscored with 78 off 99 balls with 15 hits to the fence. Ian Pattison chipped in with 39 and John Saddler scored 24.

In reply, Rest of India lost Das early in the fourth over of the innings. Left arm seamer Justin Bishop celebrated his birthday in style picking up two wickets for 12 off six overs. His first wicket came when Arindam Das edged to Sadler at second slip. In his fifth over, Bishop cramped one drop batsman Mohnish Mishra for room with a short pitched delivery aimed at his head. Mishra only managed to punch it to Kadeer Ali at squareleg.

Rest of India were 47 for two off 18 overs when stumps were drawn on the first day. Gaganinder Singh (29) and Kashinath Khadkikar (8) were at the crease at close of play.

The presence of Hanumant Singh at the MIG ground came as a blessing for the England Under-19 spinner Monty Panesar. Tipped as a future England prospect, Panesar picked up valuable tips from the former NCA coach.

The England coach Tim Boon was seen chatting and exchanging ideas with the likes of former India batsman Dilip Vengsarkar and Maharashtra coach Balwinder Singh Sandhu. Vengsarkar who also runs an Academy in south Mumbai was pleased to see the approach of the English batsmen playing the spinners.