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Gavaskar, Kaarthik score half-centuries

NEW DELHI, JULY 30. Rohan Gavaskar and Dinesh Kaarthik scored unbeaten half-centuries as India `A' was comfortably placed on the opening day of the four-day cricket match against Zimbabwe Select XI at Harare.

After captain Sairaj Bahutule (four for 27) helped restrict the host to 152 in the first innings, India `A' shrugged off a poor start to close the first day at 133 for three at the Harare Sports Club on Thursday.

The cheap dismissal of the top three batsmen — Dhiraj Jadhav (6), Gautam Gambhir (5) and S. Sriram (0) — brought Gavaskar and Kaarthik together at 26 for three and the pair batted well to set the team on course for a huge first innings lead.

Gavaskar (57 batting) and Karthik (52 batting) have so far added 107 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket.

Seamer Panyangara did the early damage, claiming all three wickets with some impressive bowling.

Earlier, put in, Select XI lost wickets at regular intervals and was bowled out for 152 in 58.1 overs.

Avishkar Salvi and S. S. Paul removed the openers before a double strike by Amit Bhandari reduced the host to 41 for four.

A 46-run partnership between Test players Mark Vermeulen (23) and S. Matsikenyeri (28) stemmed the rot before Bahutule and Romesh Powar (two for 30) scythed through.

The scores: Select XI 152 in 58.1 overs (C. Chibhabha 41, S. Matsikenyeri 28, Bahutule four for 27) vs India `A' 133 for three in 31 overs (R. Gavaskar 57 batting, D. Kaarthik 52 batting; Panyangara three for 30). — PTI

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