Yusuf Pathan goes on blitzkreig, India 'A" on high

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Chennai, Sept 21 (UNI) Riding on Yusuf Pathan's blitzkreig, India ''A'' overcame a disastrous start to post a challenging total against New Zealand ''A'' in the first ODI of the three-nation triangular series here today.

Yusuf hit a nonchalant 127-ball 148 studded with nine fours and nine sixers as India recovered from 66 for five in 12 overs to post 305 for eight in 50 overs, after they were asked to bat first.

The start was disastrous as openers Robin Uthappa and Swapnil Asnodkar fell in the first two overs without troubling the scorers.

Skipper Badrinath (22, 30 balls, 4x4), Dinesh Karthick (26, 23 balls, 2x4, 2x6), Suresh Raina (eight) fell in quick succession as three of the top five batsmen ran themselves out.

Yusuf, coming in at number seven, played a sensible game. He picked up the gaps well and rotated the strike along with Rohit Sharma (36, 48 balls, 1x4, 1x6), before using the long handle effectively in the end to swell the total past the 300-mark.

Yusuf steaded the innings adding 105 runs for the sixth wicket with Rohit Sharma in 22.1 overs before adding a further 59 for the seventh wicket with his brother Irfan Pathan (31, 41 balls, 2x4, 1x6) in 9.5 overs.

He went after the bowlers in the slog overs and added 75 runs for the eighth wicket in just six overs along with Piyush Chawla, who remained unbeaten on 16 of 15 balls.

Yusuf, who dominated the eighth wicket stand, fell off the last ball of the innings.

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