THE STRONG Maharashtra took 198-run lead over Sikkim at the end of the first day’s play of the Vijay Merchant Trophy Cricket Tournament match for under-17 boys at Bab-e-Aali Stadium on Friday.
After winning the toss, Maharashtra skipper U Birla invited Sikkim to bat first. The Maharashtra responded splendidly to the captain’s decision and bowled out Sikkim for 82.
Sikkim Opener V Shrivastava put up a little resistance to score 28 off 66 deliveries, five of which he sent to the boundary. After his departure Sikkim team fell like ninepin.
The lethal combination of Maharashtra’s A Singh and G Bhosle sent seven Sikkim batsmen to the pavilion. Singh in his 9.3 over spell claimed four batsmen conceding 15 runs. Bhosle took three wickets. Suryavansh joined the party by scalping two wickets.
Maharashtra Opener S Gugale then slammed a hundred by treating the Sikkim bowlers with disdain. He played all round the wicket to the directionless bowling. His was on the wicket with in his individual score of 100 runs including 11 boundaries.
His partner P Desai supported scored 69 runs. Two-down Gopal was on the other end with his individual score of 56. Mumbai scored 280 runs for the loss of four wickets at the end of the first day’s play. A Chaudhari of Sikkim claimed three wickets conceding 55 runs in 21 over spell.
Earlier, chief guest of the inaugural function, Bhopal Divisional Cricket Association (BDCA) chairman Dhruv Narayan Singh extended his good wishes to both teams.
BDCA vice president Aruneshwar Singhdeo, secretary Dr Shafquat Mohammad Khan, joint secretary Hamidullah Khan ‘Mamu’, C S Dhakad, Vijesh Lunawat, J P Tyagi, Sushil Singh, Junesh Kidwai and others were present.
Praise for pitch
BCCI OBSERVER of the match Raju Pankule appreciated the pitch and outfield of Bab-e-Aali Stadium. “It is a good venue for such matches”, said Pankule. However, he said, “There are things that needs to be done to claim any Ranji match”. Further he said that international players represent their states in Ranji matches therefore the ground conditions should be according the norms of the BCCI.