January 14, 2001

Virender Shewag enthralls with unbeaten 162

Staff Reporter

North Zone leads the Duleep Trophy table with ten points from two matches, thanks largely to the batting heroics of Virender Shewag on Sunday in their match against West Zone at the Punjab CA Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh.

As the best part of the match was ruined by heavy fog, North were chasing the West score of 284 for the all important first innings lead. Resuming at 217/5 with Shewag and Pankaj Dharmani at the crease, the North innings got off a troubled start when Iqbal Siddiqui had Dharmani trapped in front on his overnight score of 28. North were reduced to 233/6 leaving the match even stevens. Shewag along with Sharandeep Singh put on 48 runs for the seventh wicket as Singh was dismissed for 17. At 281/7 came in Gagandeep Singh and before he was dismissed for three at 285, North had gained the first innings lead. Both the batsmen were claimed by SR Saxena.

Ashish Nehra was the next to go LBW to Bahatule for a duck at 292. The last batsman Surendra Singh hit three boundaries in his innings of 15 before being dismissed by Siddiqui. The North innings came to an end at 331, leaving Shewag with an unbeaten 162 off 190 balls. One six and twenty-four boundaries flowed from his bat in his four hours and fifty minutes stay at the wicket. Siddiqui was the best of the bowlers with 31-4-116-5.

West were 50/1 at the close of the match in their second innings. Wasim Jaffer remained unbeaten on 29 with NK Patel on 11. West Zone collected three points from the match and have an aggregate of six points from two games.