Delhi on top after twin centuries
(by- Arjun Sen in New Delhi)
Defeat is as intrinsic to sport as victory. But it is how a team bounces back from defeat that separates the good from the ordinary.
Delhi had lost their way in their last match against Haryana and with it, their 12-game unbeaten streak. They put in a listless performance, were outplayed and hardly looked like champions. On Wednesday, they had a chance to get back to winning ways and they did just that. The hosts, once again led by aggressive centuries from openers Aakash Chopra (101*, 93b, 17*4, 1*6) and Shikhar Dhawan (100*, 70b, 13*4, 3*6), crushed Services in the last league match of the North Zone one-day tournament.
Chopra and Dhawan needed just 27.1 overs to overhaul the target of 204 and hand Delhi their second 10-wicket win in five matches.
Chopra and Dhawan were in prime touch as they ripped the Services bowling to shreds. The onslaught started in the third over, which went for 12 runs.
The run-rate hardly dropped below 6, and the only battle left in the match was between the two batsmen to reach the three-figure mark first. With the target rapidly approaching, Chopra and Dhawan dealt only in boundaries. They took a liking to the two spinners — Arnav Kush and Abhishek Sakuja — who went for 93 runs in their 11 overs.
With hardly 40 runs to get, the two batsmen began a duel to reach the 100-run mark first. Chopra - batting with a runner - was 12 runs shy, while Dhawan was 15 short. From thereon in, every boundary hit by one was followed by two from the other. Everytime Chopra would hit a four and edge ahead, Dhawan would reply with a massive six.
Just when it looked like one would be left stranded in the 90s, Dhawan smashed a six to reach his ton, while Chopra, with one needed for the win, reached his with a four.
The Delhi dressing room was all smiles after the game, and would now be looking ahead to the knockouts.
All's well that ends well.
Services: J Singh run out 10, T Khan b Awana 8, D Ishrani c Shikhar b Bhandari 23, P Rao s Bisht b Manan 15, Y Singh c Bisht b Bhandari 71, S Chatterjee b Megi 58, A Sinha not out 9.
Extras: (lb-6, w-4) 10
Total: (for 6 wkts in 50 ovrs) 204
Fall of Wkts: 1-18, 2-44, 3-51, 4-81, 5-181, 6-204.
Bowling: A Bahandari 10-0-45-2, N S Negi 10-0-41-1, P Awana 10-0-40-1, C Nanda 10-0-33-0, M Sharma 10-1-39-1.
Delhi: A Chopra not out 101, S Dhawan not out 100
Extras: (lb-4, w-3) 7
Total: (in 27.1 ovrs) 208
Bowling: P Kumar 8-0-47-0, R Kumar 7-0-50-0, A Kush 5-0-45-0, A Sakuja 6-0-48-0, A Sinha 1.1-0-14-0.
Rain plays spoilsport
(by- Nilankur Das in Guwahati)
Overnight rains had ruled out chances of a scheduled start to the last round of matches of the East Zone one-dayers. But just 10 minutes of sunshine in the first session on Wednesday ensured that the outfield remained soggy and matches at both venues —the Nehru Stadium and the Railways stadium in Maligaon — were called off in the afternoon. Bengal finished on top of the group with 17 points from four matches after sharing points with Jharkhand due to the wash out. The two points also ensured that Jharkhand finish second in the group with 11 points and qualify for the all India knock-out stages beginning on April 2.
Tripura needed a win with a bonus point and had to wait for Jharkhand to concede a bonus point against Bengal to qualify. But once umpires Nikhil Patwardhan and Amardeep Singh Pathania called off the match following a second inspection, Tripura's match at Maligaon against Assam lost significance and was called off soon after. And while the Bengal players waited for the groundsmen to do their work, a visit to the Guwahati zoo in the afternoon and a cruise on the Brahmaputra was planned as a holiday mood set in.
Sourav Ganguly who had a good view of the ground from his hotel room rescheduled his evening flight and left in the morning itself. He did take a chance with the weather and had there been even a 20-over match played between Bengal and Jharkhand, the positive vibes he had sent out to the selectors by coming here to play in the first place after being dropped from the one-day team, would have been neutralised by the criticism. “With the India team winning in Australia, Ganguly did not have any motivation to play. I came here to see him bat but he scored only five in the last match and today he left before the match,” a fan said.
Ganguly will be playing East Zone's first match of the Deodhar Trophy against South in Hyderabad on March 14, which follows a two-day fitness camp in Bangalore on March 8 for the forthcoming South Africa series. He will go back to Bangalore on March 17 to attend a national team meeting and so will not be available for East's second Deodhar match.
Bonus point sees Saurashtra through
(by- K R Guruprasad in Pune)
Saurashtra inched ahead of Baroda by one point to stand second in the West Zone One-dayers for the Ramakant Desai Trophy and qualify for the knock-out stages.
Both Saurashtra and Baroda were tied at four points as they took on Gujarat and Maharashtra, respectively, here on Wednesday.
While Saurasthra chased Gujarat's 231 in 38.3 overs to earn a bonus point that took their tally to nine, Baroda's narrow two-run win over Maharashtra denied them a bonus point and they totalled eight points, to stand third in the list followed by Maharashtra with seven points and Gujarat with three points.
Mumbai, with a win over Maharashtra in their last league match on Monday, had already regained the Ramakant Desai Trophy that they had conceded to Maharashtra last year. Saurashtra bowlers, four of them picking up two wickets each, restricted Gujarat to a low total of 231 at the Deccan Gymkhana ground. Saurashtra's Cheteshwar Pujara scored an unbeaten 109 in 108 balls and Sagar Jogiyani 67 from 60 balls to lead their team's successful chase.
In the other match at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana ground, Maharashtra, needing a win, came heartbreakingly close to overtake Baroda's mammoth total of 366. Needing nine runs from the last over, Maharashtra were not quite out of the rut with their last pair of batsmen at the crease.
Baroda captain Pinal Shah threw the ball to Yusuf Pathan, who ended with five for 78, to bowl the last over. Noor Khan took a single of the first ball to give strike to Ajinkya Joshi. The next ball, Joshi steered the ball to short third-man. Azhar Bilakhia misfielded and the ball went to boundary. Joshi took a single in the next ball. With three runs needed of three balls, Khan tried to drive Pathan but missed the ball, which hit his pads. Wicketkeeper Pinal went up in a vociferous appeal for leg before, and the batsman was given out. Baroda's celebrations were shortlived when they found that Saurashtra have earned a bonus and qualified for the knockout stages.
Earlier, Maharashtra's Ameya Shrikhande (124) and Nikhil Paradhkar (71) built up the innings but could not take their team to win.
Baroda: 366 for 9 in 50 overs (A Bilakhia 53, R Solanki 61, R Pawar 79, P Shah 60; Fallah 2/52) beat Maharashtra 363 all out in 49.4 oves (Shrikhande 124, N Paradkar 71; Y Pathan 5 for 74)
Gujarat: 230 all out in 47.2 overs (Niraj Patel 51, Sunny Patel 52) lost to Saurashtra 231 in 38.4 overs (C Pujara 109; S Jogiyani 67; Solanki 2/49)
Jaffer to lead West Zone
Pune: Mumbai batsman Wasim Jaffer will lead the West Zone team for the Deodhar Trophy to be played between March 14 to 26.
Wasim Jaffer (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Nayar, Ajit Agarkar (VC), Rohit Sharma, Iqbal Abdullah (all Mumbai), Parthiv Patel (wk), Mohnish Parmar, Siddharth Trivedi (all Gujarat), Y Venugopal Rao, Munaf Patel, Kedar Jadhav (all Maharashtra), Pinal Shah (wk), Yusuf Pathan (both Baroda), Sandeep Maniyar (Saurashtra).
Best of the best in Zonal Ranji One-dayers
332by Aakash Chopra of Delhi is the best batting average this season. Shikhar Dhawan has 114 and he is fourth on the list.
8.66 by Vishal Bhatia of Himachal Predesh is the best bowling average this season.
3centuries by Aakash Chopra is the maximum number of tons scored by a batsman.
7bowlers have taken five wickets or more in an innings.
379 by Abhinav Kumar for Hyderabad is the most of number of runs scored by a batsman this season
13 wickets by R Vinay Kumar for Karnataka is the most number of wickets taken by a bowler this season.
277*runs between Aakash Chopra and Shikhar Dhawan was the best partnership of the season. It was also the highest first-wicket partnership ever in Indian domestic one-day season. Chopra and Dhawan were involved in another 200-plus run partnership, against Services.
187 by Ajinkya Rahane for Mumbai against Maharashtra was the highest individual score.
398by Mumbai against Maharashtra in Pune on March 3 was the highest team score this season. In fact, the top four team scores of this season were scored in West Zone.
91 by Kerala against Tamil Nadu in Chennai on February 27 was the lowest total this season.
10-wicket win by Delhi against Punjab at the Kotla on February 28 was the biggest margin of victory in terms of wickets.
216 runs by Mumbai against Maharashtra in Pune on March 3 was the biggest margin of victory in terms of runs.
Compiled by T. Siddharth