Cricket: Mongia gives India scant consolation

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The Independent Online
Nayan Mongia gave the Indians a much-needed boost but the tourists were left with plenty of problems to solve after another batting collapse at Derby yesterday.

Mongia has been pencilled in to open in next week's second Test match at Lord's and he justified that promotion with an accomplished unbeaten 74. However, the recognised batsmen failed again, with the captain Mohammed Azharuddin scoring only 21 as Derbyshire bowled the tourists out for 229 in 66 overs.

The Indians, who rested Sachin Tendulkar, were facing big problems at one stage when they slumped to 110 for 8, but the last two wickets added 119 to put the earlier batting into perspective.

Although a grassy pitch provided assistance to the pace bowlers, India's pre-lunch collapse after being put in was down to poor batting. Devon Malcolm bowled with pace and accuracy to finish with 4 for 60 from 21 overs, but India's top-order batting lacked application.

Mongia was a notable exception as he occupied the crease for just short of four hours to supervise a partial recovery. Salil Ankola opted for a vivid counter-attack which brought him a career-best 45 including two sixes and six fours from only 35 balls in an eighth-wicket stand of 58 in 10 overs.

When Derbyshire batted, Ankola, who joined the tour last week, had Tim Tweats caught behind in the eighth over. Derbyshire closed on 80 for 3.

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