Duleep: North Zone in command against East

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Rajkot: North Zone scored 109 for two in their second innings after skittling East Zone for a paltry 143 in first innings on the second day of the four-day Duleep Trophy match, being played at the Madhav Rao Scindia Ground here yesterday.

North Zone skipper Mithun Manhas did not enforce the follow-on on East Zone as he wanted to give more chance to his batsmen for practice. North Zone gained a vital lead of 217 runs with an overall lead of 326 at the end of the day.

At stumps, opener Akash Chopra and Manhas were batting on individual scores of 56 and 12 respectively.

Earlier, North Zone resuming their first innings score of 260 for seven, were all out after adding another 100 runs to their score.

Tailender C Nanda's 58 in 59 balls, studded with nine fours, helped North Zone to reach a respectable score of 360.

East Zone players helped the North Zone batsmen to build their scores as the fielders dropped at least four catches.

Medium pacer S S Paul was the most successful bowler from East Zone taking five wickets for 106 runs while medium pacer D Mohanty and left-arm spinner T Saha shared two wickets each conceding 39 and 102 runs respectively. Spinner N Behera took one wicket giving 38 runs.

East Zone's 143 runs included Wriddhiman Saha's well compiled 56 not out, smashing nine boundaries in 91 balls. However, he was stranded without a partner as the other batsmen failed to give him support and departed early. Niranjan Behera did not bat due to injury.

Medium pacer V R V Singh did the damage for North Zone by grabbing five wickets for 59 runs while spinners Amit Mishra and C Nanda took two wickets each giving away 26 and zero run respectively. Chetanya Nanda removed Randeb Bose and S S Paul in the successive second and third deliveries of his first over.

Randeb Bose was lbw and S S Paul was caught by Shikhar Dhawan.

Meanwhile, North Zone have ensured their berth in the final as they have already five points in their kitty. In this match, if there is no result, then North Zone will get three points and in case they win, they earn five more points. East Zone have five points and if they can bring the match to a draw, they will get one point.

The only ray of hope for East Zone is to win the match in the next two days. First their bowlers will have to restrict the North Zone to an achievable target and then go on a scoring rampage to snatch the match from rivals.

Brief scores:

North Zone Ist Innings: 360 all out (Mithun Manhas 88, Amit Mishra 52, U Kaul 48, C Nanda 58)

East Zone Ist Innings: 143 all out (S S Das 23, Wridhhiman Saha 56 not out, VRV Singh 5 for 59, Amit Mishra 2 for 26, C Nanda 2 for zero)

North Zone 2nd Innings: 109/2 (A Chopra 56 not out, K Goel 34, Mithun Manhas 12 not out, D Mohanty 1 for 15, and R Bose 1 for 31)


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