Nehra rocks West with a six-wicket haul

Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Lucknow:Left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra made a strong claim for a comeback to the Indian squad for the series against Pakistan, scalping six wickets as North Zone dismissed West for 201 in the first innings on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy cricket match in Lucknow on Tuesday.

Nehra wreaked havoc to claim six for 57 as North Zone, after bowling out their rivals for a modest total, helped themselves to 114 for two at stumps on the opening day of the four-day tie at the K D Singh Babu stadium.

Scoring at a brisk pace, North raced to 50 in just 44 balls and crossed the 100 mark at the end of 19.4 overs on a slow wicket. At close, Aakash Chopra was batting on 44 while Ravneet Ricky on 19.

Earlier, a devastating spell by Delhi seamer Nehra saw West Zone being dismissed for 201 despite a fighting 55 by Parthiv Patel.

Nehra literally ran through the West line-up, which tottered at 87 for five at one stage before Patel and Pawar (35) added 52 runs for the sixth wicket to stem the rot.

Pawar was more aggressive of the two and hit eight fours in his knock that came of just 48 balls.

The top order batsmen found Nehra too hot to handle and barring Satyajit Parab, who made 32, none could offer any resistance as West Zone were bowled out at the stroke of tea.

A large crowd cheered for Virender Sehwag as he made his way to open North Zone innings along with Gautam Gambhir and the Indian opener did not disappoint them though he perished without playing a long innings.

Sehwag scored a quick 33 with the help of six hits to the fence before edging a catch to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel off spinner Rajesh Pawar.

Gambhir too looked solid and hit three fours, including two in one over of Zaheer Khan, but the medium pacer had the last laugh when he castled the opener.

Chopra, who replaced Gambhir, appeared quite compact in defence even though he hit the first six of the match off Pawar besides four boundaries.

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