North fight back after dismal batting display
East Zone 77 for 4 trail North Zone 178 (Bose 4-45)by 101 runs
Ranadeb Bose took 4 for 45 and Shib Paul 3 for 51 as North Zone were dismissed for 178 after East Zone won the toss and decided to bowl at Rajkot. Despite an accomplished showing by its bowlers, East were unable to drive home the advantage, reaching 77 for 4 at stumps, still 101 runs behind.
North were left struggling at 49 for 4 after Bose and Paul each claimed two early wickets. Bose started the proceedings, bowling Shikhar Dhawan for 1, and Paul was quick to join the party, forcing Sangram Singh to edge one to Deep Dasgupta, the wicketkeeper, for 8 with the score on 27. No significant partnerships emerged as both new-ball bowlers applied the pressure.
Pankaj Dharmani, the veteran wicketkeeper, made a gritty 35, but wickets continued to tumble at the other end. Yashpal Singh and Sarandeep Singh both fell in the twenties, and with Bose and Paul each striking with the score at 129, North looked in danger of being dismissed for less than 150. A counter-attacking 46 off just 35 balls from Vikram Singh tipped the scales for North, but just slightly.
East Zone's reply did not get off to a good start either, with Gagandeep Singh taking care of Shiv Sunder Das and Arindam Das, the openers, for 0 and 9. With Amit Bhandari taking two wickets as well, East slumped to 59 for 4. Sourav Ganguly, who had taken 2 for 38 earlier in the day, was batting on 19 at close of play.