Chopra & Ricky give North the lead
North Zone 321 for 2 (Chopra 135*, Ricky 122) lead Sri Lanka A 296 (Chamara Silva 84, Warnapura 65, Sharma 4-85) by 245 runs
Aakash Chopra and Ravneet Ricky slammed centuries to put North Zone in an impregnable position in the Duleep Trophy final against Sri Lanka A at the Eden Gardens. Resuming on 51 for no loss on the second morning, North Zone finished on 321 for 2 with a lead of 25 with eight wickets in hand.
Chopra, who had raced away to 39 at stumps yesterday, lost his opening partner Gautam Gambhir to the second ball of the day - bowled by Ishara Amerasinghe for 7 - by but held his nerve to graft out his 15th first-class hundred. He picked up two fours off one Akalanka Ganegama over to get to 50, but then buckled down. Chopra spent a few overs in the nineties, but a brace off Rangana Herath's left-arm spin took him to the landmark. He finished the day unbeaten on 135.
Ricky too began with three fours off Ganegama but then slowed down. After crossing 50, off 108 balls, he tucked into Dammika Prasad and Jehan Mubarak's part-time offspin. His 100 came up off 183 balls, and he was out in the 84th over, caught by Thilan Samaraweera off Amerasinghe for 122, the stand with Chopra having yielded 214.
Mithun Manhas, North's captain, was with Chopra on 29 from 44 balls at the close of play. For the Sri Lankans, Amerasinghe was the only real success of the day, picking up Gambhir and Ricky at the start and end of the day.