Yuvraj & Rao feast on B attack
The senior side hasn't been knocked out of this year's Challenger Series yet although when they were tottering at 33/3, they certainly seemed on the way out. In fact it might well have been 33/4 rather than 34/3 when Sree Santh, who had already dismissed Tendulkar and Kaif for their second failures of the series, had Venugopal Rao
bowled off the first ball he faced. Unluckily for the bowler and India-B, it was a no-ball.
From that very ball, it was all downhill for India B with Yuvraj and Venugopal Rao putting on the best fourth-wicket stand in the history of the Challenger Trophy, an unbroken 209 to drive their team to an emphatic 7 wicket victory
with a more than four overs to spare. Yuvraj's 99 was a swashbuckling effort in contrast to Rao's 101 which could be termed graceful. The underdogs weren't helped by the umpire failing to hear a snick off Yuvraj's bat and Yousuf Pathan failed to hold on to a return chance from Rao.
Earlier in the day, after being put into bat, India B folded up for 240, which was certainly never really going to be enough. Most batsmen got starts, but none of them went on to a big score. Parthiv Patel, who must surely be the only 20 year old outside of Pakistan's team to have been in the national side less a year ago and now be third (?) choice keeper, lent some respectability to the total with his quickfire 53 made in just 44 deliveries. After he left, the lower order could not accelerate in the final overs. India B will really have to pull off a miracle today against India A to enter the final.
The Indian coach, Greg Chappell was all praise for Yuvraj
, but failed to say anything about Rao who has managed paltry scores of 98 and 101* in the 2 outings on successive days.Update:
Perhaps no one asked him about Rao's performances? (thanks to memorykeeper
for reminding that)