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January 26, 2008
West Zone 349 for 7 (Pathan 107, Kukreja 72, Rahane 50) v Central Zone
A whirlwind century from Yusuf Pathan took West Zone to a strong 349 for 7 at stumps on the first day against Central Zone in Rajkot. Opting to bat first, West were off to a confident start as the Mumbai pair of Ajinkya Rahane (50) and Sahil Kukreja (72) forged a 124-run partnership. Central then fought their way back into the match as Sanjib Sanyal removed both of them before Sanjay Bangar dismissed captain Parthiv Patel. Pathan walked in at the fall of the fourth wicket on 174 and blitzed a 66-ball 107 to give West the upper hand. He carted 13 boundaries and five sixes during his 88-minute stay and made all his runs in a 136-run stand with Chetheswar Pujara, who made a sedate 44. For Central, Bangar and Sanyal finished with three wickets each, but Sanyal was expensive conceding five runs an over.
North Zone 104 for 5 (Chopra 37) trail South Zone 157 (Vinay Kumar 41*, Ravi Teja 41, Malik 5-44, Bhatia 4-13) by 53 runs
Fifteen wickets tumbled on a dramatic first day as North Zone seized the advantage in their encounter against South Zone in Ahmedabad. Medium-pacer Vikramjeet Malik tore through the top order while Delhi's Rajat Bhatia cleaned up the tail as South were bundled out for 157. After being put in to bat, South were off to a solid start with openers Ravi Teja (41) and Swapnil Asnodkar putting on 37, before Malik snared five wickets, including the big one of captain S Badrinath, in a five-over burst, to leave them tottering at 69 for 5. South lost three more quick wickets before a 68-run partnership between Vinay Kumar (41*) and Kalyankrishna (31) brought in a semblance of respectability to their scorecard.
North's reply started with a 58-run opening stand before they had a collapse of their own: they lost four wickets for seven runs to Karnataka's duo of Vinay Kumar and NC Aiyappa and lost Bhatia shortly before the close to finish the day on 104 for 5.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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