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India A romp home despite Naved's century

Once India A won the toss, batted first on a batsman-friendly pitch and made 329 for 6 in their 50 overs, the game was all but over

Wisden Cricinfo staff
25-Dec-2003
India A 329 for 6 (Gambhir 82, Bangar 81, Kaif 75, Yuvraj 60) beat Pakistan A 240 (Naved 128, Bhandari 4-47) by 89 runs
Scorecard


Naved Latif experiences the mixed emotions of making a century in a lost cause
© AFP

Once India A won the toss, batted first on a batsman-friendly pitch and made 329 for 6 in their 50 overs, the game was all but over. Pakistan A went down tamely to their second loss in the one-day tri-series - having lost to Sri Lanka A earlier - falling short of India's total by 89 runs. Naved Latif made a belligerent 128, off just 124 balls, including seven sixes and 11 fours, but it never appeared likely to actually have an impact on the match.
Pakistan had a disastrous beginning, as each of their top-order batsman, clearly daunted by the imposing target, played with reckless abandon and threw their wickets away. All of the top five batsmen were back in the pavilion before the first 10 overs were completed, with just 44 runs on the board. Amit Bhandari was the default beneficiary of Pakistan's rashness, picking up four of those wickets. He finished with 4 for 47 and was named Man of the Match.
Naved, batting at No. 6, embarked upon a string of small partnerships with the lower order, but it was already in a lost cause. Much of the ferocity of his hitting came when the weight, so to speak, was already off his shoulders, and Pakistan had no chance of winning. He was the last man out in the 48th over, caught by Sarandeep Singh off the bowling of Yuvraj Singh.
As has happened so often in one-day international cricket, India's openers laid the foundations of their victory. Gautam Gambhir, who had begun this tournament with a century, hit a strokeful 82 in just 75 balls, and Sanjay Bangar provided the calming influence at the other end, making 81 off 108 balls. Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj gave the innings impetus towards the end with a swashbuckling stand of 121 runs in 85 balls, a partnership marked by their magnificent running between wickets. Kaif's 75 took 74 balls while Yuvraj's 60 came off 43 deliveries, and they were largely responsible for India reaching 329.
Most sides facing a target like that tend to implode, and Pakistan A duly did.