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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 November, 2003, 12:00 GMT
India hang on for draw
Tour match, Melbourne, day three: Victoria 518-8 dec drew with India 266-9 dec & 116-2

Harbhajan Singh takes a wicket
India's bowlers toiled long and hard at the MCG
Akash Chopra hit an unbeaten half century as India secured a draw in their tour game against Victoria in Melbourne without undue difficulty.

Chopra reached 55 not out as the tourists batted out the final 42 overs of play to reach 116-2.

Brad Hodge had earlier made 264 for the state side, who declared on 518-8 with a lead of 252.

It was the highest score by an Australian in a first-class game against a touring side for 75 years.

But there was a sour postsrcipt with Victoria coach David Hookes accusing India of using the match as a "net session" and Ganguly of reneging on an agreement to bat for only 70 overs per side in the first dig.

Hodge, who resumed on 153, batted for 500 minutes in total before he was caught off Virender Sehwag just 12 runs short of beating Bill Woodfull's 275 against the MCC in 1928-29.

The itinerary is so tight - you've got to make the most of what you get
Indian captain Sourav Ganguly

He struck a six and 39 fours and shared stands of 161 with Ian Harvey (71) and 125 with skipper Cameron White (39).

India relied on pacemen Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan and Lakshmipathy Balaji and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to do the bulk of the bowling.

Harbhajan sent down 37 overs for figures of 2-159, with Nehra was the only other bowler to achieve more than a single success as he took 2-91.

Chopra began India's second innings under pressure, having managed only two on the opening day of the match.

He started slowly, with partner Sehwag making 20 of the first 24 runs scored before he was lbw to Brett Harrop.

Sadogoppan Ramesh followed his first innings 87 with more sensible batting as he and Chopra added 90 for the second wicket.

Chopra's fifty arrived off 112 balls and it looked like the pair would play out time together, only for Ramesh to be caught off Andrew McDonald for 36 in the penultimate over.

It meant vice-captain Rahul Dravid having to face five balls and he did so safely to finish the game on one not out.


Victoria: Cameron White (captain), Jason Arnberger, Matthew Elliott, Brett Harrop, Ian Harvey, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Mathew Inness, Andrew McDonald, Jon Moss, Peter Roach.

India: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Lakshmipathy Balaji, Akash Chopra, Rahul Dravid, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Parthiv Patel, Sadagoppan Ramesh, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar.


SEE ALSO
Hodge makes India suffer
26 Nov 03  |  Cricket
India struggle in tour opener
25 Nov 03  |  Cricket


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