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Narwal spoils West Zone's plan

india Updated: Jan 28, 2011 00:14 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni

With only the tail at the crease for the North Zone, the West Zone bowlers thought of retiring to the pavilion early on Day 2 of the Duleep Trophy semifinal. Sumit Narwal however had other intentions. The No. 9 batsman anchored himself at the crease to help his side finish the innings at 460.

Narwal came into bat with the team struggling at 390 for 7. However, Narwal was aggressive as he whacked Bhargav Bhatt, the highest wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy this season, all round the field.

The 28-year-old stepped out five times in twelve balls to hit the left arm spinner far beyond the boundary rope. While the last two batsman - Vikas Mishra and Pawan Suyal - added just two runs each to the team's tally. , It was only when Narwal attempted to heave Jaidev Unadkat to net one to Rahane, that some semblance of order returned. The damage though had been done with his quick-fire 53-ball 59.

The shock treatment began again when West openers came to the middle, Joginder Sharma and Narwal making the ball swing and bounce at will. Sharma opened up opener Sahil Kukreja with an out-swinger. Narwal joined the party when he packed Harshad Khadiwale, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in an 11 over spell.

Though West skipper Wasim Jaffer (53) and Ravindra Jadeja (62 not out) batted sensibly in the final session to ease some of the pressure, North captain Amit Mishra sent back his counterpart 15 minutes before stumps to leave West reeling at 176 for 5, still 284 runs behind.