sport

India toil at Derby

Wes Durston led the way with 95 from just 90 balls as an unheralded Derbyshire line-up made India toil at the County Ground.

Durston was one of four batsmen to pass 50 alongside Billy Godleman (67no), young opener Ben Slater (54) and 17-year-old wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein (53no) as the hosts posted 326-5.

Ishant Sharma, still billed as one of the linchpin pace bowlers for the five-Test Investec series against England set to start next week, struggled conspicuously for the second match in succession.

As at Leicester last weekend, the tall seamer was susceptible to over-stepping and here he was comfortably the most expensive bowler and responsible for eight no-balls too in an initial spell of 9-0-41-0.

When he returned in the evening session, his first ball was met - out of character by an otherwise largely stoic Godleman - with a dismissive pull into the boundary boards at midwicket.

Ishant's next delivery was another no-ball, and he did nothing significant in just two more overs to quell any fears about his readiness to play at Trent Bridge.

All India's seamers, in the absence only of Mohammed Shami who is resting a calf injury after his exertions against Leicestershire, were soon given plenty to think about on a benign pitch after Mahendra Singh Dhoni lost the toss.

Wayne Madsen chose to bat, but then sat out this non first-class match and ceded his captaincy duties to Chesney Hughes.

Number three Hughes shared a stand of 70 with Slater before he was bowled shaping to attack on the back foot to only the fourth ball of spin from Ravindra Jadeja on the stroke of lunch.

Paul Borrington was previously unable to get off the mark before edging the 17th delivery he faced, from Pankaj Singh, to second slip - where Ajinkya Rahane took a trademark, expert catch slightly to his left.

Slater and Hughes were rarely troubled for the next hour, by either new-ball pair Pankaj and Bhuvneshwar Kumar or then Varun Aaron and Ishant.

Both left-handers drove well through the off-side, Slater especially, and Hughes brought up the 50 partnership with a pull for four off Aaron.

Ishant's difficulties continued either side of lunch.

But there was soon another wicket for Jadeja, Slater caught-behind pushing forward shortly after bringing up his 113-ball 50, and Alex Hughes lost his leg-stump when Ishwar Pandey replaced Ishant.

Pandey thought, unlike umpire George Sharp, he had Durston caught-behind for just two, but instead Durston was soon dominating his stand of 124 with Godleman.

He was fluent in the afternoon, sweeping Jadeja into the old Grandstand for six on the way to 50, but then upped the ante after tea.

Godleman escaped a sharp chance on 28 in R Ashwin's first over of off-spin, to gully where Virat Kohli - acting captain while Dhoni opted for net rather than middle practice - could not hold on.

Durston responded by clubbing 20 runs off the next over from Pankaj, including a pulled six, and bringing up the 200 in the process.

He looked sure to reach three figures himself until he mistimed an attempted on drive and chipped a return catch back to Stuart Binny.

Godleman did not waver, though, eventually passing a hard-working half-century off 120 balls in an unbroken stand of 87 with first-team debutant Hosein - who completed his half-century with his eighth boundary, pulled off Dhoni in the Test captain's solitary over.