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Munaf's 5-wicket haul demolish England for 238

Written by: Staff

Vadodara, Feb 23 (UNI) Young pacer Munaf Patel took five wickets as Board President's XI dismissed visiting England for a paltry 238 in their first innings on the opening day of the three-day match played at the IPCL ground here today.

In reply, the Board President's XI blazed away to 93 for one at stumps thanks to spelndid 48 by Wasim Jaffer and 33 by Gautam Gambhir.

Leading the side in place of Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick introduced six of his bowlers to brake the opening partnership, but was successful only in the last and the 24th over of the innings when leg-spinner Ian Blackwell held Jaffer leg before.

Jaffer, who retained his position in the 15-member Indian squad annouced today for the First Test against England, struck 8 fours in his 48 off 74 balls, while Gautam, who was axed from the team, studded his unbeaten 33 with 7 fours.

Though experienced Trescothick won the toss and elected to bat on an wicket considered to be seamers friendly, nothing went on England's way as the hosts struck the first blow in the very fifth running out the acting skipper for 18.

With 3 more vital wickets of Andrew Strauss (23), Ian Bell (17)) and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff (1) falling in a space of 10 runs, England were reduced to 78 for four before lunch as Munaf figure read 9-0-37-2.

The Maharashtra boy, who bowled with immaculate line and length to return an impressive figure of 16.2-0-59-5, had bowled out four of his scalps, including opener Andrew Strauss, wicket-keeper Geraint Jones (46), Matthew Hoggard (0) and Stephen Harmison (4), while the leading all-rounder Flintoff was sent back to the pavilion for just one following a brilliant piece of fielding by hosts skipper Venugopal Rao at the mid-off.

In the lack-lustre encounter before a few thousand crowd in the 20,000 capacity stadium, Kevin Pietersen, who top-scored with 47 from 57 balls, drew loud cheers when he slammed 22 runs, including 4 fours and a six, in a single over from Punjab medium pacer V R V Singh to take the score from 98 to 120 for four.

England were unlucky as Pietersen retired hurt due to a cramp when he and his partner Jones had settled down.

Though England middle order helped the side stage a remarkable recovery through Pietersen, Jeraint Jones, Blackwell (33) and Plunkett (37) taking the score to 208 for five at Tea, the side crashed to 238 all out within 40 minutes with the last four wickets falling prey to the pace attack of Munaf and Shib Shankar Paul (2/26) in a space of six runs in the post-tea session.


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