Complacency costs Central Zone dear | india | Hindustan Times
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Complacency costs Central Zone dear

Hosts Central Zone's 14-run loss to North Zone on Tuesday was all about the perils of complacency. Chasing North's competitive 233, the hosts were cruising comfortably despite twin early setbacks --- the loss of Amit Pagnis and Gagan Khoda --- but couldn't finish things. Abbas Ali, grandson of local cricket icon Capt. Mushtaq Ali, and Tejinder Pal Singh were doing everything right. At 83 for two, North skipper Dinesh Mongia was helplessly looking towards the heavens for help.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2006 00:39 IST

Hosts Central Zone's 14-run loss to North Zone on Tuesday was all about the perils of complacency. Chasing North's competitive 233, the hosts were cruising comfortably despite twin early setbacks --- the loss of Amit Pagnis and Gagan Khoda --- but couldn't finish things.

Abbas Ali, grandson of local cricket icon Capt. Mushtaq Ali, and Tejinder Pal Singh were doing everything right. At 83 for two, North skipper Dinesh Mongia was helplessly looking towards the heavens for help.

It soon arrived. Ali swung his bat wildly against newly introduced offie Gaurav Vashisht and guided a simple catch to Gautam Gambhir at slips. The third-wicket partnership, which started in the third over with the score at 5, came to a tame end. The 3000-plus crowd was not happy.

However, they still had Devendra Bundela and Jai Prakash Yadav to give company to the dangerous-looking Singh. The wicket was flat and it was just a matter of staying till the end. For North, the main danger was the rampaging TP Singh. He completed his half-century in just 53 balls and showed no sign of slowing down.

But shortly thereafter, he misread a slightly short of length away moving delivery from Vashisht and offered a dolly to Mitthun Manhas at point. Even as North celebrated, Yadav joined Bundela and the two patiently started gathering runs against Vashisht and leggie Amit Mishra. Then Mongia brought himself on and the move paid off. Twice, he scalped both players. The end was near.

Earlier, as expected, North, after winning a crucial toss, opted to bat first and were in dire straits straight off when Gambhir was trapped right in front by Yadav for a duck.

The Central skipper seemed to have done his homework and kept Gambhir's weakness for shuffling across in mind, attacking his middle stump from the word go. Gambhir looked rusty while fielding too, after his late arrival from Delhi on Monday.

Mongia looked confident but a late out-swinger from Harvinder kissed the outside edge of his bat. At 26 for two, North looked in trouble but a sensible 139-run partnership between opener Shikhar Dhawan and Reetinder Sodhi took them to safety.