India's captain injures finger

India 228-9 Northamptonshire 195-5 Northamptonshire win on faster scoring rate
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The Independent Online
Just as the Indians were completing preparations for the Texaco Trophy series against England, Mohammad Azharuddin, their captain and master batsman, sustained a bruised right index finger when struck by Tony Penberthy yesterday.

Azharuddin, whose bowlers failed to prevent Northamptonshire from reaching a revised target with seven balls to spare, said: "There is some worry about the finger. It is sore and grazed and I shall have to see how it feels tomorrow," the day before the opening match against England at The Oval.

Despite Mal Loye's match-winning 83 with nine fours from 95 balls, the tourists enjoyed a productive day with Sachin Tendulkar's innings of 88 from 108 balls, featuring 10 fours, the centrepiece of their performance. Five of the potential six top batsmen for the one-day games have hit a hundred on this tour.

Tendulkar was fourth out, beaten by Paul Taylor's underarm direct hit. Taylor also bowled steadily and Penberthy did other damage, apart from that to Azharuddin, by returning 4 for 42 and dismissing Sunil Joshi, Anil Kumble and Paras Mambray in the space of four balls.

Two wickets in five overs strengthened Mambray's prospects of making Thursday's team. He bowled David Capel, leg stump, and had Tim Walton athletically caught at boot-lace height by Sanjay Mandrekar at short square leg.

Loye's partnership of 93 in 24 overs with his captain, Rob Bailey sustained Northamptonshire. When they were parted 59 was still needed from eight overs. It offered the perfect platform for Kevin Curran, whose lusty strokeplay brought the final impetus for victory over the previously unbeaten tourists.

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