January 10, 2003

Badani century helps South to 10-run win

Staff Reporter

Hemang Badani struck a well-paced run-a-ball century to propel South Zone to a 10-run win over East Zone in their Deodhar Trophy tie at Visakhapatnam's Indira Priyadarshini Stadium on Thursday.

Winning the toss, South Zone skipper Venkatesh Prasad opted to bat first. Ambati Rayudu provided some firepower at the top of the order with a 34-ball 30 that included four fours and one six. Arjun Yadav at number three made 44 off 65 balls, and it his partnership with Badani that laid the foundation for a fighting total.

When Yadav were dismissed, South were 167 for three after 32.1 overs, so the final score of 261 all out in 49.3 overs may have come as something of a let-down. But Rohan Gavaskar's left-arm spin in an incisive spell of 6.3-0-35-5 broke the back of the lower middle-order, spurring the late collapse.

East Zone looked to be cruising when Shiv Sunder Das and MS Dhoni were batting well, adding 62 runs for the third wicket. But Das fell (63, 71b, 6x4) and although Dhoni made 71 (87b, 7x4, 2x6), the later batsmen could not capitalise on the start. To make matters worse, as many as four run-outs littered the East Zone innings, which finally ended on 251 in 49.1 overs.