Swing bowlers Praveen Kumar and RP Singh exploited the early overcast conditions before spinners Piyush Chawla and Murali Kartik polished off the lower half to power Central Zone to a six-wicket win over title holders West Zone in the Deodhar Trophy’s opening round match here on Friday.
The West Zone top order had no clue against a virtual Indian attack as they folded for 98 in just 29.1 overs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Central replied with 99 for four in 20.1 overs and the match ended 30 minutes after lunch.
It was a shameful start for West, who conceded a bonus point, giving Central five points and having minus-one against their name. West were done in by two bowlers who made the most of a seaming track and justified captain Mohammad Kaif’s decision to field. Praveen brought in the first two deliveries to Yusuf Pathan before getting the third to leave the right-hander, giving hints of what to expect.
One of India’s stars in the Tri-series triumph in Australia, Praveen (3/18) struck in his second over off a shortened run-up as Wasim Jaffer’s bad habit of chasing the away-going ball continued, giving Kaif a simple slip catch. RP (1/22), whose fitness was being gauged by chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar, came up trumps. He bowled eight overs in two spells without any discomfort. He made the otherwise hard-hitting Pathan dance to his tune before trapping him leg before.
RP was beaming that he had passed the test. “I am happy and I feel fully fit,” was his assessment. And coach Abhay Sharma was ecstatic. “Our bowlers did their job,” he said. With Zaheer Khan ruling himself out for the South Africa Test series, RP’s availability is crucial.
Meanwhile Praveen changed ends and struck twice as Ajinkya Rahane was caught inside the circle and Parthiv Patel at third slip. West were 39 for five by the 12th over and it took No. 7 Abhishek Nayar nearly five minutes to get into the crease at the fall of Parthiv and Central players even made a mock-appeal for timed out, in good humour.
While Praveen and RP along with third seamer Sandeep Singh contained the run flow, spinners — leggie Chawla (3/11) and left-armer Kartik (2/20) — forced the lower half into playing indiscreet shots. Central too found it difficult with the moving ball as Ajit Agarkar picked up two wickets.
West Zone: Yusuf Pathan lbw RP Singh 3, Wasim Jaffer c Kaif b P Kumar 8, Ajinkya Rahane c Chawla b P Kumar 10, Rohit Sharma c Ojha b S Singh 7, Parthiv Patel c Sharma b P Kumar 0, Y Venugopala Rao b Chawla 9, Abhishek Nayar c P Kumar b Chawla 39, Iqbal Abdulla c Ojha b Chawla 2, Ajit Agarkar lbw Kartik 0, Munaf Patel c RP Singh b Kartik 1, Siddarth Trivedi not out 6. Extras (lb-6, w-6, nb-1) 13
Total (all out, 29.1 overs) 98
Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-15, 3-39, 4-39, 5-39, 6-70, 7-72, 8-73, 9-81.
Bowling: P Kumar 7-1-18-3, RP Singh 8-0-22-1, S Singh 7-2-21-1, M Kartik 4-0-20-2, P Chawla 3.1-0-11-3.
Central Zone: Faiz Fazal c Jaffer b Trivedi 24, Naman Ojha c Munaf b Agarkar 25, Suresh Raina c Agarkar b Trivedi 18, Himalaya Sagar not out 7, Md Kaif c Jaffer b Agarkar 8, Rohit Sharma not out 2. Extras (lb-2, w-13) 15
Total (for 4 wkts, 20.1 overs) 99
Fall of wickets: 1-41, 2-75, 3-81, 4-94.
Bowling: M Patel 5-0-21-0, A Agarkar 7.1-0-35-2, S Trivedi 8-0-41-2.
Dravid’s ton goes in vain, South lose
Hyderabad, March 14
A SPARKLING century from Rahul Dravid was not enough to stave off defeat for South Zone in their opening match of the all-star series for the Deodhar Trophy here on Friday. East Zone were just too good as a team, with several members chipping in to put together a score of 274 and this proved far too many.
When East skipper Laxmi Rattan Shukla won the toss he had no hesitation in choosing to bat first. Even the early loss of Sourav Ganguly, run out for just 1 in a solitary ball, did not dampen East’s resolve.
Anustup Majumdar would follow Ganguly to the pavilion with only 28 on the board, but from then on a string of partnerships resurrected the innings. Manoj Tiwary began the repair work, scoring 40, but it was the other Tiwary — Saurabh — and captain Shukla who provided the innings with backbone.
Saurabh made 73, and was understandably a bit restrained, using up 90 balls in the process. Shukla, for his part, hit the ball long, picking off five sixes — and remarkably no fours — in his unbeaten 66-ball 72. Wriddiman Saha added the finishing touches and East ended on 274. When South responded their star-studded batting line-up — with the exception of Dravid —came a cropper.
Dravid settled in for the long haul and sealed one end up. However, wickets continued to fall at the other end and apart from 42 from Arjun Yadav there were no contributions of note. When Dravid fell, the seventh batsman to be dismissed, on a 138-ball 139, the game was all but over. South limped to 251 all out, and lost by 23 runs. Agencies
East Zone innings
Arindam Das run out (Karthik/Badrinath) 32, S. Ganguly run out (Yadav/Dravid) 1, A. Majumdar c Uthappa b Vinay Kumar 16, M. Tiwary c Laxman b Vinay Kumar 40, S. Tiwary c Ojha b Vinay Kumar 73, LR Shukla not out 72, W Saha not out 21. Extras (lb-1, w-15, nb-3) 19
Total (for 5 wickets; 50 overs) 274
Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Ganguly, 1.3 ov), 2-28 (Majumdar, 5.5 ov), 3-98 (MK Tiwary, 19.6 ov), 4-125 (Arindam Das, 26.5 ov), 5-226 (S Tiwary, 45.6 ov)
Bowling: Sreesanth 10-1-61-0, R. Vinay Kumar 10-0-69-3, S. Bandekar 9-0-49-0, P. Ojha 10-0-37-0, C. Raghu 9-0-45-0, S. Badrinath 2-0-12-0
South Zone innings
D. Karthik c Saha b Goswami 3, R. Uthappa c Das b Bose 16, R. Dravid c Ganguly b Goswami 139, S. Badrinath b Ganguly 20, A. Yadav c Shukla b Goswami 42, C. Raghu run out (Shukla) 7, R. Vinay Kumar b Bose 18, S. Bandekar not out 2, S. Sreesanth run out (Saha) 0, P. Ojha run out (Saxena) 0, VVS Laxman absent hurt. Extras (lb-1, w-3) 4
Total (all out; 48.3 overs) 251
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Karthik, 3.2 ov), 2-36 (Uthappa, 8.5 ov), 3-89 (Badrinath, 20.4 ov), 4-172 (Yadav, 35.3 ov), 5-191 (Raghu, 39.1 ov), 6-243 (Vinay Kumar, 46.6 ov), 7-249 (Dravid, 47.4 ov), 8-249 (Sreesanth, 47.5 ov), 9-251 (Ojha, 48.3 ov)
Bowling: Bose 9.3-0-40-2, Goswami 9-0-42-3, Ganguly 10-0-42-1, Shukla 6-0-39-0, Saxena 7-0-38-0, Mukherjee 3-0-19-0, Tiwary 4-0-30-0.