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March 1, 2005
South Zone 327 for 9 (Uthappa 80, Sharath 60, Laxman 55, Nehra 4-110) v North Zone
Ashish Nehra continued his wicket-taking spree in the Duleep Trophy tournament as a strong South Zone batting line-up was kept down to 327 for 9 on the opening day at Indore. Robin Uthappa, VVS Laxman and Sridharan Sharath stroked half-centuries but Nehra's regular strikes prevented them from gathering too much momentum.
Having chosen to bat first, South were given a fiery start by Uthappa, the opener from Karnataka, who carted 15 fours in his 95-ball 80. Nehra's double strike pegged South back to 125 for 3 but Laxman and Sharath ensured any collapse with a fighting 87-run partnership.
Sharath's dismissal, though, left North with only the tail to contend with. Dinesh Karthik remained unbeaten on 49 when stumps were drawn but South's inability to make a big total might prove decisive when one considers their relatively inexperienced bowling attack
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