Cricket: Tendulkar hurt but remains in form

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The Independent Online
SACHIN TENDULKAR gave India another injury scare yesterday as they finally emerged from a damp start to their World Cup preparations with a comfortable victory over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Tendulkar, who has been suffering from a back problem recently, was unable to take the field after being hit on the calf during his dazzling 91.

Even so India's coach, Anshuman Gaekwad - who saw his other opener, Shahid Afridi, injured against Durham on Monday - is confident Tendulkar will be fit to open the World Cup campaign later this week against South Africa.

Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Javagal Srinath guided India to an 88-run victory under the Duckworth-Lewis method. Tendulkar hit nine fours and a six in his 91 off 113 deliveries while Dravid struck six fours and a six in his 89 from 96 balls as India made 243 for 5 from 44 overs.

Nottinghamshire were then set a revised target of 247 under the Duckworth- Lewis method, which was put well beyond their reach as Srinath claimed three early wickets.

South Africa, the World Cup favourites, swept aside Middlesex by six wickets with 13.1 overs to spare in their final warm-up match at Southgate yesterday.

It was South Africa's second big victory over county opposition following their 170-run trouncing of Kent on Sunday, and was once more sustained by Mark Boucher in a No 3 role he could now carry on into the tournament.

Boucher followed his 129 against Kent with 93 yesterday, being stumped off a wide from Paul Weekes shortly before South Africa easily reached their target of 217.

Bob Woolmer, South Africa's coach, said: "We've tried Boucher in this experimental position before, but he hasn't made runs. But if we decide to use him at No 3, at least we know he's in nick, and he gives us another option."

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