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Gavaskar leads Tata onslaught

cricket Updated: Sep 02, 2009 00:16 IST
Anam Arsalan
Anam Arsalan
Hindustan Times
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Debasish Mohanty, leading All India Public Sector Sports Promotion Board, chose to field in conditions that were conducive for bowling. The former India seamer's decision seemed to be the right one with rain threatening to disrupt the match at any stage. And his move would have paid off had it not been for Tata's Rohan Gavaskar, who put an impressive 93 on board and changed the game. His innings spurred Tata SC on to 241/8.

Still, AIPSSPB bowlers did get some early advantage, removing the openers early on in the 36-over rain-truncated match that eventually extended well beyond the stipulated cut-off time. Sahil Kukreja fell to one from Mohanty that left the batsman, going to the keeper via the outside edge. Ishank Jaggi followed, bowled by medium-pacer Ashish W Zaidi and the scoreboard read a dismal 10 for 2 in four overs.

But, that was it. As conditions improved, with the pitch and outfield drying, the batsmen started to showcase their prowess. Nishit Shetty and Gavaskar went about their task of resurrecting the innings and did so successfully. The duo added 69 for the third wicket before Shetty was run out in the 17 over.

Gavaskar, keen on making the most of this opportunity, stayed on, predominantly scoring in ones and twos. He was further assisted by a dropped catch in the eighth over. Gradually, he upped the tempo and started hitting the odd boundary.

Later, he and skipper Ajit Agarkar started to put pressure on the opposition fielders. From 114 for 4 the duo pushed the score to 144 for 5 before Gavaskar fell, caught at midwicket off Yogesh Dicholkar. Gavaskar's impressive 93 included seven fours and three sixes.

But the end was far from near for skipper Agarkar was still at the crease and a flurry of strokes from his bat ensured that the Tata SC team reached an impressive 241/8 in their stipulated 36 overs.