Surinder Singh helps Central enter CK Nayudu Trophy semifinals
Though the match meandered along to a tame draw, Central Zone entered the semifinals of the Inter-Zonal CK Nayudu Trophy Under-19 tournament on the basis of their 27-run first innings lead over East Zone in the quarterfinal encounter at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Sunday.
Opting to bat first on the opening day on Friday, Central Zone progressed slowly to 158 for 7 at close of play. The highlight of the innings was a patient 66 by opener Surinder Singh. However, none of the other batsmen made an impact. He was the seventh batsman to be dismissed at the fag end of the day, caught by A Hashmi off SS Lahari. During a 326-minute stay at the crease, Surinder Singh faced 218 balls and hit nine boundaries. Central Zone lasted for 16 more overs on the second day before they were bowled out for 178. SS Lahari (3 for 63) and S Ali (3 for 41) were the pick of the bowlers.
But when it was East Zone's turn to bat, Surinder Singh returned to torment the East Zone batsmen to finish with 5 for 41. East Zone fell shy of lead by just 27. Only four of their batsmen managed to reach double figures with A Hashmi topscoring with 42.
Central Zone in their second innings fared slightly better, scoring 194. Surinder Singh (60) was again the mainstay of the batting. He was ably assisted by opening partner SS Dholpure (31) and skipper A Kapoor (38). Set to score 222 for a win with not even a session of play left on the final day, East Zone, in 15 overs, made 62 runs for three wickets.
In the three day semifinals, which commence on January 24, Central play North Zone while West Zone meet South Zone.