West comfortably force draw against South
West Zone comfortably batted through the final day, stalling South Zone's hopes of forcing an outright result in their Duleep Trophy clash at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium in Surat on Sunday. Nayan Mongia, Vinod Kambli and Abhijit Kale all posted half centuries as West finished their second innings at 330/6. South's first innings lead of 219 gave them five points, taking their tally to eight from two games, while West moved to nine from three games.
West entered the final day at 64/1, needing another 155 to make South bat again. In the course of an obdurate 60 off 187 balls, skipper Mongia, who opened the innings, was involved in four successive fifty partnerships, three of them on the final day. He added 50 for the second wicket with Hrishikesh Kanitkar, 54 for the third with Jacob Martin and 53 for the fourth with Kambli. The latter was his usual bludgeoning self in carting 66 (65 balls, 11 fours, 2 sixes).
Kale, for his part, made an enterprising 52 off 55 balls, inclusive of nine boundaries. Wasim Jaffer and Sairaj Bahutule carried North through to stumps. Of the eight South bowlers used, Sunil Joshi produced the best figures of 3/62. South take on East next from January 25-28 at Agartala while West also square off against the same opponents in their next and final encounter, at Rajkot from February 1-4.