Paul and Bhandari wreck Zimbabwe A
India A 17 for 0 (Chopra 3*, Gambhir 9*) trail Zimbabwe A 200 (Taibu 53, Maregwede 50, Paul 6-46, Bhandari 4-65) by 183 runs
India A's medium-pacers Shib Shankar Paul and Amit Bhandari shared the spoils as Zimbabwe A crumbled to 200 all out in their four-day match at the Harare Country Club. Only two batsmen - Tatenda Taibu and Alester Maregwede - got among the runs, scoring half-centuries, as Zimbabwe A failed to make the most of winning the toss and batting first.
The openers set the trend for the day, both being dismissed without putting significant runs on the board. From 15 for 1 Zimbabwe A slipped to 41 for 3, before a 61-run stand for the fourth wicket pushed the score to 102. Then the second meaty partnership of the day, 68 for the fifth wicket, helped Zimbabwe A along to 170.
Taibu, who was already captaining Zimbabwe A and keeping wicket, had to do the runscoring as well, and led the way with 53. Maregwede, batting one spot below Taibu at No. 5, was the only other man to resist India A's bowlers, with 50.
Paul (6 for 46) and Bhandari (4 for 65) bagged all the wickets, but it was not as though the other bowlers had nothing to do. Sairaj Bahutule bowled 19 wicketless overs for 28 runs, while Yogesh Golwalkar, the legspinner, bowled 14 tight overs for 25. In all, Zimbabwe dawdled to 200 all out in 91.5 overs.
India A then had to play out six tricky overs at the end of the day, and they did so without losing a wicket. Aakash Chopra and Gautam Gambhir put on 17 and were left to return on the second day to continue their task.