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March 25, 2003
A slew of runs and as many as four centuries from both side saw the Elite A-Elite C Duleep Trophy tie at the Gymkhana Ground, Secunderabad, drawn after four days play, with Elite C picking five points by virtue of their first-innings lead.
Heavy overnight rain delayed the start of the game by a day, as wet ground conditions caused play to be called off at around four in the afternoon, after repeated inspections. The conditions, however, gave Elite C skipper Shiv Sunder Das some hope of help for his fast bowlers, and he elected to bowl after winning the toss.
Das' fast bowlers, however, could not capitalise on the conditions. Daniel Manohar (26) and Sadagopan Ramesh (42) put together 56 runs for the first wicket. The real spine of the Elite A innings, however, lay in centuries from Sridharan Sriram and D Vinay Kumar. The former hit 109 off 201 balls, with 14 fours, while the latter made 125 off 230 balls, with 18 fours and one six.
Elite A thus reached 369 before they were bowled out in 120.1 overs, with left-arm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni doing maximum damage for Elite C, taking five for 104 in 40 overs.
At 86 for three, it appeared as if Elite A could pull back the match by at least garnering points for the first-innings lead. But Jacob Martin and Pankaj Dharmani added 225 runs for the fourth wicket, Martin scoring 132 off 254 balls (14 fours) and Dharmani making 105 (203b, 11 fours, one six).
That stand got Elite C close to the Elite A first-innings score, and despite a collapse thereafter, a few sturdy tail-end contributions enabled Elite C to register 398 before being bowled out. Elite A then played out 7.3 overs aimlessly in their second innings, the draw by then an assured result.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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