India left frustrated at Hove

By Michael Wise  

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Tour Match
Hove - Day Four 
India 388-7 dec (V V S Laxman 95, G Gambhir 81, K D Karthik 76, R Dravid 57) & 184-8 dec v Sussex 300-6 dec (A J Hodd 106 no, M H Yardy 53) & 190-9 (R R Montgomerie 59) Sussex drew with India

Robin Martin-Jenkins hit a gritty 45 not out from 91 balls, as Sussex held on for a draw against India at Hove.

Posted a target of 273 for victory, the hosts were never in the hunt and lost wickets steadily throughout the day.

Veteran spinner Anil Kumble starred with the ball, claiming three for 57 as India homed in on victory.

But all-rounder Martin-Jenkins frustrated the tourists, alongside last man Jason Lewry.

The pair managed to see out seven overs to save the match, and boost England's hopes for the fast-approaching first Test in mid-July.

Day Three

Sussex gloveman Andrew Hodd bagged a maiden first-class hundred on a rain-hit third day of their clash with the touring Indians.

Hodd's unbeaten 106 helped Sussex declare 88 behind on 300 for six at Hove after resuming uncomfortably placed on 146 for five.

The 23-year-old, stepping out of Matt Prior's shadow, was 21 not out overnight and played a chanceless knock when play resumed in mid-afternoon after rain had delayed the start.

He was stuck on 99 for 13 deliveries before reaching his landmark by playing a delivery from left-armer RP Singh firmly to the mid-wicket boundary.

Experienced leg-spinner Anil Kumble stuck to his task to claim the only wicket to fall by removing Robin Martin-Jenkins and finished with three for 56 in 22 overs.

Ollie Rayner joined Hodd to add an unbroken 31 for the sixth wicket in untroubled fashion before Sussex declared shortly after 6pm.

When India batted again Wasim Jaffer's hopes of making up for his low score in the first innings were wrecked in the third over when left-armer Jason Lewry had him leg-before for only four.

Lewry struck again shortly before the close when Mahendra Dhoni top-edged a hook and holed out at long leg.

Day Two

VVS Laxman fell just five runs short of his first century in England, as India took charge on the second day of their match against Sussex at Hove.

The tourists added 107 runs to their overnight score on Sunday before declaring on 388-7 intent on winning the game.

Sussex's top order did not last long with stand-in skipper Mike Yardy top scorer notching only his second half-century of the season to take his side to 146-5 at stumps.

But leg-spinner Anil Kumble bowled the captain with a googly just before close for his second wicket of the match, to leave Sussex in trouble at 146-5 at stumps.

Ranadeb Bose, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and Rudra Singh picked up a wicket apiece, as India warmed up for their Test series against England starting on July 19.

Day One

Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik and captain Rahul Dravid all made half-centuries as India ended day one of their tour match against Sussex on a score of 281 for three.

The tourists made solid progress on a good batting wicket at Hove, with an under-strength Sussex side - captain Chris Adams, Mushtaq Ahmed, Murray Goodwin, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Luke Wright all absent - taking one wicket in each session.

Wasim Jaffer was the first to go, the opener being caught behind off Robin Martin-Jenkins having made 12.

Initially playing with caution, Karthik and Gambhir slowly started to open up and eventually shared a second-wicket stand of 129, made in 41 overs.

Karthik hit 10 fours on his way to 76, before he became Saqlain Mushtaq's first victim since the former Pakistan off-spinner joined Sussex.

With his partner out just prior to tea, Gambhir only lasted another 45 minutes, his innings of 81 coming to an end when he fell to a return catch by stand-in Sussex skipper Mark Yardy.

Dravid was dropped early in his innings, but nevertheless progessed to an unbeaten 57, an unbroken fourth-wicket stand with VVS Laxman (37 no) yielding 75 runs.

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