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Derbyshire: Jul 2, 2014
Cheteshwar Pujara struck his second successive half-century of the tour as India reached 217 for five at tea on the second day of the practice game against Derbyshire ahead of the five-Test series against England, here today. Pujara continued his rich form and scored 81 runs off 131 balls with the help of 13 fours before retiring to give other batsmen match practice.
India accumulated their runs in 62 overs. At the post-lunch break, Ravindra Jadeja (14 not out) and Stuart Binny (3 not out) were at the crease with the former having been dropped on zero. Among prominent batsmen, Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma are yet to bat in this innings.
Pujara and Virat Kohli (36) carried on after lunch, but were able to add only five runs to their partnership when the latter was bowled. Kohli played on a delivery from Ben Cotton (2 for 20) who picked up his second wicket of the innings. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni then walked in to bat, having not had a hit in the middle so far, after sitting out in the first innings at Leicester.
The Indian skipper made good use of the placid conditions and played some attacking shots, scoring 46 runs off 56 balls, hitting four boundaries and one six. He perished in the same manner, charging spinner David Wainwright (1 for 40), only to be bowled. At the other end, Pujara calmly accumulated his runs, reaching his second half-century of the tour off 98 balls which nine fours. Along with Dhoni he added 119 runs for the fourth wicket.
After Dhoni was dismissed in the 55th over, two balls later, Pujara retired when he was just 19 short of a triple-figure score. Earlier, India made slow progress in the morning session, in reply to Derbyshire’s first innings’ score of 326 for five 5. Kohli and Pujara were at the crease at the lunch break, having put up a partnership of 58 runs for the third wicket, after Shikhar Dhawan (6) and Murali Vijay (6) were dismissed cheaply earlier in the session.
Vijay was out LBW to Mark Turner (1 for 30) with the score reading just 18, although the batsman was clearly disappointed with the decision. Four balls later, Cotton had Dhawan caught behind. Both the openers were out for identical scores, each having faced 26 balls and hit one four apiece.
Derbyshire had won the toss yesterday and rode on half-centuries from Wes Durston (95), Ben Slater (54) and Harvey Hossein (53 not out) to pile up the runs against a listless Indian bowling attack. Ravindra Jadeja (2 for 27), Pankaj Singh (1 for 63), Ishwar Pandey (1 for 34) and Stuart Binny (1 for 25) were the wicket-takers for the visitors.
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