April 8, 2003

Elite C play steady cricket to beat Plate A

Staff Reporter

On the back of some steady, calm cricket in both batting and bowling departments, Elite C won their Duleep Trophy tie against Plate A by nine wickets at the Gymkhana Ground in Secunderabad, picking up eight points in the process.

Winning the toss, Elite C skipper Shiv Sunder Das elected to have a bowl first, and his bowlers rewarded him by keeping Plate A down to only 263 in their first innings. Abhijit Kale, perhaps spurred by the news of his inclusion into the national squad, fell two short of a well-compiled century, making 98 off 178 balls with 19 fours.

But except for Rajiv Kumar (61, 134b, 11x4), no other Plate A batsman could lend Kale support, and the innings ended just one ball after the 100-over-mark. Right-arm medium-pacer Siddharth Trivedi picked four wickets for 49.

Elite C's batting response was not appreciably better, and they only just managed to eke out a lead of 15 runs. Das hit a steady 73 (153b, 6x4) while middle-order bat Nikhil Doru top-scored with 74 (194b, 8x4). The spinners were the most potent force in Plate A's bowling; Sunil Joshi scalped three, while Faisal Shaikh and KN Ananthapadmanabhan picked two wickets apiece.

Plate A, then, was really let down by the second innings batting. Trivedi and Ajit Agarkar were lethal in tandem, ripping out four wickets each and destroying the top-order. Rajiv Kumar (55, 155b, 5x4) and Thilak Naidu (75, 130b, 8x4, 2x6) showed some resistance, but it was not enough, and the innings ended at 182.

Elite C, chasing 168 for a win, could still conceivably have been shocked into a defeat, but Satyajit Parab (95, 138b, 7x4, 4x6) and Yere Goud (50, 71b, 4x4, 2x6) not only ensured a comfortable win but an emphatic one at that, knocking up the runs in just 46 overs.