Tendulkar retires short of century as tour match drawn

CANBERRA,  (Reuters) – Sachin Tendulkar hit a quickfire 92 before retiring as India’s first warm-up match on their tour of Australia against a Chairman’s XI ended in a draw after rain brought an early end to play yesterday.

Tendulkar, who will be hoping to grab his 100th international career century in the four-test series that begins in Melbourne on Dec. 26, grabbed his 92 runs off 132 balls with 15 fours before he and VVS Laxman (57) retired at tea with the tourists on 240 for three chasing 399 for victory.

India had reached 320 for six in the 84th over of their innings when rain forced play to be abandoned at Manuka Oval, which will also host their second and final warm-up match for the Boxing Day test against another Chairman’s XI next week.

Uncapped opener Ajinkya Rahane (three) and Virat Kohli (one) were the only tourists not to rack up the runs on what has proved to be a good batting surface with skipper Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma (56 not out) also having solid knocks.

None of the Chairman’s XI has any realistic chance of making the Australia team for the test series but spinner Cameron Boyce added a notch to his belt with the wicket of Dravid on his way to figures of two for 74 when the former India skipper was caught for 45 at mid-off by Peter George.

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