March 31, 2003

Plate B earn five points from drawn encounter against Elite A

Staff Reporter

A high-scoring Duleep Trophy match involving Plate B and Elite A ended in a draw at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Sunday. Plate B, though, had the satisfaction of gaining five points to Elite A's three by virtue of having gained the first-innings lead.

After Plate B captain J Arunkumar won the toss on Thursday morning, he had no hesitation in opting to bat. With Arunkumar (106), his opening partner Sujith Somasunder (156) and Devendra Bundela (101) notching up tons, Plate B racked up an impressive 569 despite an eight-for from the ever-persevering Sarandeep Singh.

When Elite A replied, it was the turn of another spinner Narendra Hirwani to get among the wickets. The veteran leggie claimed six wickets in a marathon spell that ended when he claimed last man R Bose with his 329th delivery of the innings. Hirwani's efforts ensured that Plate B gained a 100-run lead on the fourth afternoon despite centuries by Devang Gandhi (131) and Y Venugopal Rao (127).

With less than 50 overs of play remaining, Plate B decided to gain further batting practice. Somasunder notched up another fifty, making 51, while Amay Khurasiya indulged himself on his way to 73 off 71 balls with 13 fours and one six before Arunkumar declared with the score reading 185/4 in 46 overs in the second innings to bring the match to an end.