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Ishant impresses in tame draw

With little possibility of a result, India and CA Chairman's XI came to a mutual agreement to bat for 30 overs each on the third and final day here at the Manuka Oval yesterday. With just five days left for the Boxing Day Test, India's first-choice pace trio of Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav eased into a final burst before the hosts finished at 100-0. While Zaheer and Yadav were expected to bowl, the sight of Ishant Sharma steaming in from the Telopea Park end was the biggest positive of the day for the visitors.


Ishant Sharma bowls on Day One of the first warm-up match against
CA Chairman's XI at Manuka Oval in Canberra recently. Pic/Getty Images


Ishant, not in the original 13-man team, was drafted into bowl as the match was not a first-class fixture. He looked menacing at times with his around-the-wicket line to the left-handed duo of Phillip Hughes and Usman Khawaja. He nearly had Hughes caught at slip, pushed both batsmen on the backfoot with reasonably steep bounce. There was one ball to Khawaja that jagged back in nicely from a good length, a close lbw shout. Ishant's spell also eliminated any possible doubt about his fitness.

But Zaheer continued to search his ideal length, though he got through five overs conceding just 13 runs. In a surprising move, Umesh bowled just three overs before spin twins R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha finished off the quota of 30 overs. All in all, it was a good workout for the Indian pace battery.

After CA Chairman's XI declared on their overnight score of 215-7, India lost Virender Sehwag and Ajinkya Rahane inside the first ten overs, the latter for a 16-ball duck, his third failure in three attempts on tour. Sehwag perished caught at slip to a rising delivery from Peter George.

Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma added 76 runs for the third-wicket as India finished on 90-2 from their 30 overs. Set 146 to win from 30 overs, CA Chairman's XI openers Hughes (42) and Khawaja (56) looked in ominous touch but were helped with plenty of loose balls. However, they never chased victory. David Warner and Ed Cowan, the likely opening duo in the Boxing Day Test, was given a breather.

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