January 25, 2001

North make Central toil on opening day

Staff Reporter

North Zone, who need a win to make sure of winning the Duleep Trophy irrespective of the results of matches to be played in the final round, took the first step on Thursday when they rattled up 391 for four wickets off 90 overs on the opening day of the match against Central Zone at the Feroz Shah Kotla grounds in New Delhi.

Openers Vijay Dahiya and Vikram Rathour laid the foundation for the imposing score by putting on 188 runs off 44 overs. Put into bat, Dahiya and Rathour batted with a degree of comfort and also scored runs at a good rate. Both however fell within the space of nine runs. First Rathour was out for 94. In a three hour stay, the North Zone captain faced 130 balls and hit 19 boundaries. Then Dahiya fell for 81. In a stay of 200 minutes, he faced 153 balls and hit 15 of them to the ropes.

Yuvraj Singh dominated a third wicket partnership of 38 runs off 8.5 overs with Dinesh Mongia. Yuvraj Singh scored 34 of the runs before he was bowled by Rahul Kanwat. He faced 42 balls and hit eight fours. The good work was then carried on by Mongia and Virender Shewag who added 78 runs for the fourth wicket off 12.5 overs. The in form Shewag hit 43 off 48 balls with eight hits to the fence.

There was still no respite for the Central Zone bowlers as Mongia and Reetinder Sodhi added 87 runs off 21.1 overs for the unbroken fifth wicket. At close, Mongia was batting with 78 off 123 balls with 12 boundary hits while Sodhi was unbeaten with 34 off 68 balls with five hits to the ropes. The Central Zone bowlers toiled hard without much reward on a good batting track.