India overpower battling Scots
Glasgow, August 17:
India sealed a comfortable seven-wicket win with 37 balls left in their first one-day international with Scotland.
Chasing a revised target of 209 from 46 overs they reached 100-0 in 20 overs as Robin Uthappa hit a huge six in a fluent 55. Gautam Gambhir shared 61 in eight overs with Yuvraj Singh and remained unbeaten on 85, his fourth one-day half century. Gavin Hamilton and Neil McCallum had rescued the Scots with a stand of 82 and Craig Wright’s innovative 37 from 34 balls took them to a useful 203-9.
On a bracing morning in Glasgow, Rahul Dravid, draped in three layers of clothing, chose to unleash his bowlers on a green-tinged pitch. But the seamers often struggled with their line, Ajit Agarkar and RP Singh sending down three wides each in an over.
It was Agarkar who made the first breakthrough, pinning Navdeep Poonia on the crease in the fifth over, umpire Ian Gould sending the batsman on his way in windmill fashion. Fraser Watts made a scratchy six from 28 balls before he edged RP Singh to give keeper Mahendra Dhoni a simple catch off the final ball of the eighth over.
Scotland’s most-capped player Wright struck two boundaries off Agarkar but the seamer claimed his second wicket with a slower one that Hamilton missed as he tried to sweep. Wright had more punishment for Agarkar, a soaring straight drive disappearing out of the ground before the veteran was run out in the final over.
After their late resurgence with the bat, the Scots applied the pressure with the ball, and with the addition of some alert fielding they restricted India to just 15 from the opening seven overs. Having played an accompanying role to Uthappa, Gambhir completed his fifty from 76 balls and started to play with more freedom. Haq was rewarded for some tidy slow bowling when Dinesh Karthik was well caught at mid-wicket.
Gambhir recorded the fifty stand with Yuvraj Singh from 43 balls with a six over long-off against Paul Hoffman, playing his final match for Scotland. There was no closing success for the veteran seamer, Jon Blain claiming the final wicket to fall when Yuvraj was yorked for an entertaining 38.
That brought Dravid to the crease against the team he played for in 2003 and the captain nonchalantly flicked Dewald Nel off his pads for four to get off the mark, and a similar stroke secured the winning runs.