October 30, 2002

Chopra misses out on century at Delhi

Staff Reporter
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Only 213 runs were scored in 91 overs on the first day's play of the Irani Trophy match between Rest of India and Railways at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi.

The toss was won by Rest of India skipper Yuvraj Singh, who opted to have first strike. His openers vindicated his decision to some extent, adding 90 runs between them - albeit slowly, in almost 49 overs - for the first wicket. Neither Harvinder Singh nor Zakir Hussain, as opening bowlers, could break that crucial opening partnership.

It was finally off-spinner Kulamani Parida who got rid of Wasim Jaffer, bowling him for 41 off 149 balls with five fours and a six. But yet again, another strong partnership sprung up between Akash Chopra and his captain, the 105 runs for the second wicket coming marginally quicker, off 30.3 overs.

Chopra perished first, in the 81st over, caught by Amit Pagnis off left-arm spinner Murali Kartik for 92 off 253 balls with 11 fours and a six. He was unlucky to miss out on his century by eight runs, but Railways must have been only to glad to see the back of him.

Chopra's dismissal set off a little implosion of sorts in the middle order. Yuvraj fell only two overs later, for an exact 50, stumped by Abhay Sharma off Kartik, having faced 91 balls and hit six fours and two sixes. Abhijit Kale, steady middle-order bat, departed one over later, for just one, falling to Parida.

Vijay Dahiya and Rohan Gavaskar were at the crease when play ended with Rest of India on 213 for four. For Railways, Kartik and Parida, with two wickets apiece, were the only two successful bowlers.