Majumdar ton keeps East in the hunt | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Majumdar ton keeps East in the hunt

East Zone’s Anustup Majumdar deftly paddle swept West Zone’s left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar for a boundary to reach his third First Class hundred in the Duleep Trophy quarterfinal at Valsad on Sunday.

cricket Updated: Jan 29, 2012 23:14 IST
Anand Sachar

East Zone’s Anustup Majumdar deftly paddle swept West Zone’s left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar for a boundary to reach his third First Class hundred in the Duleep Trophy quarterfinal at Valsad on Sunday. En route his century (102*), Majumdar had ensured that his team edged past the critical first innings score of 314 posted by West Zone to end on 343.

Majumdar walked into bat when Shreevats Goswami had his timber shaken as he shouldered arms to a Samad Fallah delivery. His 147-ball innings was a mix of defiance and in-your face aggression. He shared a 59-run stand with skipper Natraj Behera (130), who had resumed on the overnight score of 102.

It was imminent that West needed wickets with the new ball, which was due in an over in the morning. But they did not help their case by bowling too short.

In fact Sandip Maniar had a round-the-wicket spell where he darted in short stuff aimed at the batsman’s body. Such ploys allowed the batsmen to survive on a pitch that was supporting the pacers, provided the ball was pitched up.

Later, West Zone tried something different as they sent Rohi Motwani to open with Harshad Khadiwale in place of Kaustubh Pawar and Ambati Rayudu at three. But, only, Surya Kumar Yadav looked threatening for a brief while in his 30-ball 34. He struck five boundaries and a six. But he was dismissed against the run of play as he sliced an Abu Nechim ball straight into the hands of Ishank Jaggi at gully. Nechim scalped three wickets.

In spite of knowing that the game is for East Zone to lose on the final day after West ended on 131 for five, Kulkarni said, “We are still not out of it. Anything can happen on the last day.”

Brief scores: West Zone 314 & 131/5 (Ahmed 3/31); East Zone 343 (Behera 130, Majumdar 102, S Fallah 3/53)