The curse of the leggie

CRICKET: `A' team tour off to a one-run defeat in Bombay while New Zeal and make a poor start in decisive Test
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Cricket Club of India 209-6

England A 208-8

CC of India win by one run England A made the worst possible start to their winter tour by succumbing to the Cricket Club of India in Bombay yesterday. The Indian team of Test hopefuls won by just one run but England should have cruised to a comfortable victory after reaching 154 for 3 in reply to CCI's total of 209 for 6 from 50 overs.

However, England lost their captain, Alan Wells, and David Hemp, of Glamorgan, the mainstays of their batting, to successive deliveries for 44 and 43, respectively, and England could never regain their hold on the game as wickets tumbled at regular intervals.

Once again an England touring team were made to look second rate against quality leg-spin bowling. India's Sairaj Bahutule emulated Shane Warne's grip on English batsmen by taking a match-winning 5 for 41.

England had cause to be pleased with their start when Wells' decision to invite CCI to bat was rewarded by his attack, forcing the Indians to struggle for every run.

Amol Muzumdar, who scored a world-record 260 on his first-class debut for Bombay last year, capitalised on surviving a dolly catch to Glen Chapple, of Lancashire, in the deep to make an undefeated 49 after Samir Dighe formed the backbone of the innings with 55.

The Yorkshire spinner, Richard Stemp, who took three wickets for 44 and could have had five if England's fielding had been sharper, was the pick of the tourist attack.

In reply, however, Bahutule had Lancashire's Jason Gallian caught and Mark Ramprakash out for a duck in three deliveries and later trapped Warwickshre's forceful Nick Knight with England 70 for 3.

Wells and Hemp put on 84 in 16 overs to raise England's hopes but a mixture of bad batting and two doubtful umpiring decisions unhinged the tourists as they narrowly failed to score the 14 they needed to win off the last over.

"This was billed as a warm-up but the Indians were a strong side. There were several aspects of our game that pleased me," Phil Neale, the tour manager, said.

(England won toss)

CRICKET CLUB OF INDIA XI Z Bharucha c Knight b Chapple 6

*S S Dighe c Knight b Weekes 55

J V Paranjpe c Chapple b Stemp 29

A Muzumdar not out 49

R Gavaskar c Weekes b Stemp 13

I Kahn c Patel b Stemp 6

M V Joglekar b Cork 8

S V Bahutule not out 23

Extras (b9 lb3 w6 nb2) 20

Total (for 6, 50 overs) 209

Fall: 1-29 2-102 3-104 4-132 5-148 6-165.

Did not bat: D Mahambre, D Desai, M Kulkarni.

Bowling: Cork 9-0-36-1; Chapple 8-3-26-1; Gallian 6-1-20-0; Patel 8-0-39-0; Weekes 10-1-32-1; Stemp 9-2-44-3.

England A N V Knight hit wicket b Bahutule 28

J E R Gallian c Dighe b Bahutule 25

M R Ramprakash c Dighe b Bahutule 0

*A P Wells c sub b Desai 44

D L Hemp lbw b Kulkarni 43

P N Weekes run out 9

D G Cork lbw b Bahutule 10

P A Nixon c Muzumdar b Bahutule 10

G Chapple not out 13

R D Stemp not out 8

Extras (b7 lb6 w3 nb2) 18

Total (for 8, 50 overs) 208

Fall: 1-48 2-48 3-70 4-154 5-154 6-167 7-187 8-187.

Did not bat: M M Patel.

Bowling: Mahambrey 10-1-49-0; Desai 10-1-35-1; Kahn 10-2-28-0; Bahutule 10-3-41-5; Kulkarni 8-0-33-1; Gavaskar 2-0-9-0.