Zimbabwe Select XI v India A, Harare, 1st day July 30, 2004

Bahutule continues his wicket-taking spree

Wisden Cricinfo staff

India A 133 for 3 (Gavaskar 57*, Karthik 52*) trail Zimbabwe Select XI 152 (Chibhabha 41, Bahutule 4-27) by 19 runs

Sairaj Bahutule continued from where he had left off in the previous match, taking 4 for 27 as Zimbabwe Select XI were bundled out for 152 against India A at the Harare Sports Club. The Indians themselves had some early problems with the bat, but Rohan Gavaskar (57 not out) and Dinesh Karthik (52 not out) steadied the ship with an unbroken 107-run stand, ensuring a close-of-play total of 133 for 3.

Bahutule had ended up with 10 for 114 in the first four-day game, which India A won by nine wickets, and it was clear that the Zimbabweans hadn't figured him out yet. The seamers had done the early damage by getting the first four cheaply, including that of Tatenda Taibu, who followed scores of 0 and 5 with just 11. Bahutule then got to work with his legspinners, having Mark Vermeulen stumped for 23. Stuart Matsikenyeri, who shared a 46-run partnership with Vermeulen, was caught by Karthik for 28, and though Justice Chibhabha kept the fight going with 41, the rest of the batsmen were clueless against Bahutule.

The Indians got some scares early in their reply. Gautam Gambhir and Dheeraj Jadhav had put together 149 in the previous game, but here they managed only 11 runs between them, as Tinashe Panyangara had them both caught behind. When Sridharam Sriram was trapped in front for a duck, India A had slumped to 26 for 3. Gavaskar and Karthik - playing in this game as a specialist batsman - then got down to repairing the innings, and by the end of the day, the Indians had wrested back the initiative that they had briefly given away.