Duleep Trophy 2004-05 February 15, 2005

Nehra rocks West Zone

Cricinfo staff

North Zone 114 for 2 trail West Zone 201 (Patel 55, Nehra 6-57) by 87 runs

Ashish Nehra ripped through West Zone to give North Zone the edge in teir Duleep Trophy match at the KD Singh Babu Stadium in Lucknow. After North lost the toss and were asked to filed Nehra first provided the early breakthrough and then ran through the lower order to end with figures of 6 for 57 from 19 overs. Only Parthiv Patel, batting at No. 6, resisted the bowling, scoring 55 of a total of 201.

Having bowled the opposition out in just 65.1 overs, North Zone had to play out a minimum of 24 overs on the first day. They started badly, losing Gautam Gambhir on 16. Soon after Virender Sehwag, the real dangerman, was caught behind by Patel off Rajesh Pawar on a 30-ball 33. Fortunately for North Aakash Chopra (44 not out) and Ravneet Ricky (19 not out) managed to take the score to 177 for 2 at stumps, without further loss. North still trail by 87 runs.

Central Zone 74 for 4 trail East Zone 194 (Sanyal 66, Yadav 5-29) by 120 runs

East Zone, minus the services of Sourav Ganguly, struggled to 194 all out on the first day of their match against Central Zone at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior. East had no answer to the mediumpace of Jai Prakash Yadav, who took 5 for 29 from 15.3 overs. Sanjib Sanyal (66) was the only batsman to score a half-century.

When it was their turn to bowl East found some solace as Shib Sankar Paul dismissed both openers before there were 10 runs on the board. Faiz Fazal and Sanjay Bangar were both back in the pavilion and it fell to Mohammad Kaif (31), who is leading Central, and Abbas Ali, to shore up the innings. They resisted for a period, but Paul, assisted by Ranadeb Bose, struck again, reducing Central to 74 for 4 when bad light stopped play on the first day. Paul had the remarkable figures of 10-4-11-3.