JP Atray Cricket: Nitish, Unmukt run-riot help ONGC pocket title

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, SAS Nagar
  • Updated: Oct 09, 2014 16:29 IST

Helped by Unmukt Chand and Nitish Rana’s fluent centuries, ONGC defeated Baroda by 36 runs to lift the title in the 21st JP Atray memorial cricket tournament at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium on Wednesday.

The ONGC team after winning the 21st JP Atray memorial cricket tournament at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in SAS Nagar on Wednesday.

Batting first, ONGC had a shaky start as they lost opener Sandeep Sharma for eight with just 19 runs on the board. ONGC suffered another setback when they lost next-in Samarth Singh with the addition of 21 runs. At this point, Nitish Rana joined other opener Unmukt Chand and started the rebuilding process.

The duo sent Baroda bowlers on a leather hunt, stitching 241run partnership for the third wicket. In the process, Unmukt played some blistering strokes to raise 140 off 152 balls, studded with 11 fours and five sixes.Nitish, adjudged man of the match, was more severe on Baroda bowling. His unbeaten 147 came off just 108 balls, and included 11 boundaries and five sixes. The partnership formed the bedrock of the NGC’s formidable total of 318 for 5 in 50 overs.

For Baroda Smith Ghosh snared three wickets for 71 runs to emerge as the pick of the bowlers. Ajitesh Argal and Kunal Pandya picked up one wicket each for 68 and 58 runs, respectively.

Chasing a huge total, Baroda skipper Aditya Waghmode led the charge. A shaky start saw Baroda losing two quick wickets with just 35 runs on the board. Saurabh (6) and Kedar Devdhar (11) departed leaving skipper Aditya the responsibility of bringing the innings back on track.

After a brief partnership of 30 runs with Deepak Hooda (8), Aditya found an able partner in form of Abhijit Karambelkar. The duo added 72 runs for the fifth wicket to keep the Baroda outfit in the hunt.

Aditya was also involved in another fruitful partnership of 68 runs for the sixth wicket with Kunal Pandya (74). The skipper departed after getting run out for 120 off 106 balls. Thereafter, Baroda innings crumbled, and they were eventfully bowled out for 282. For ONGC, Sumit Narwal (4 for 56) and Rahul Tewatia (3 for 40) were the pick of the bowlers.

Saurabh Wakaskar of Baroda was adjudged best batsman, while Jatin Saxena of MPCA was adjudged best bowler.

The DP Azad award for the most technically-sound batsman went to Nitish Rana, while Sandeep Sharma of ONGC, who had scored 421 runs in his six innings, and claimed man of the match award four times, was adjudged man of the series.

Padma Balbir Singh (senior), the triple Olympic hockey gold medallist, was the chief guest for the closing ceremony and gave away the winners’ trophy and a cheque of Rs 2 lakh to the ONGC team. Baroda pocketed a cash award of Rs 1 lakh besides lifting the runners-up trophy.

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