April 3, 2002

MSK Prasad stars in strong South Zone reply at Bangalore

Staff Reporter

As if trying to make up single-handedly for his mistake in putting East Zone in, South Zone skipper MSK Prasad anchored his team's innings on the second day of their Duleep Trophy match at Bangalore on Wednesday.

East Zone could not add too many to their total on the second morning, being bowled out for 398 in 113.3 overs. Rajiv Kumar, unbeaten overnight on 35, could add just four to his score before being run out by Hemal Watekar. His partner, Zakaria Zuffri, made 45 off 130 balls before falling as the ninth wicket of the innings.

For South Zone, young offie Watekar was the most impressive, returning figures of 4-75 off 31 overs. Part-time spinner Sridharan Sriram also picked two wickets.

In pursuit of East Zone's big first-innings total, South Zone made a good start, adding 56 for the first wicket before Sriram was caught behind off Lakshmi Rattan Shukla for 34 off 48 balls. D Vinay Kumar, who along with Sriram was the star of South's last Duleep match, fell for 23, and East Zone may have sniffed a faint chance at 92 for two.

But Prasad and Hemang Badani played with elan to post 87 runs before the latter retired hurt, struck down by a back injury for 65 off just 61 balls. Badani's innings included 10 fours and two sixes.

At the close of play, Prasad was unbeaten on 93 off 185 balls, hitting 11 fours and two sixes in his knock. He was accompanied by R Vijay Bharadwaj, who was on 19 off 51 balls. South Zone had advanced to 243 for two, a good reply to East's first-innings performance.