North Zone pile on the runs
North Zone 627 for 7 (Chopra 188, Rawat 96*, Yashpal 77, Joginder 72) lead Sri Lanka A 296 by 331runs
Led by Aakash Chopra's 188 and half-centuries from Yashpal Singh, Mahesh Rawat and Joginder Sharma, North Zone pummelled a hapless Sri Lanka A into the ground on day four of the Duleep Trophy final at the Eden Gardens. Sittting comfortably on 627, a lead of 331, North Zone held all the aces going into the fourth day's play.
Chopra, overnight on 135, continued in the same watchful groove, though he did take a liking to Rangana Herath's left-arm spin, picking up most of his boundaries before lunch off him. Herath finally got him, leg before in the 129th over, but there was little respite for the Sri Lankans. Next, Yashpal and Rawat added 81 and then Joginder joined Rawat to frustrate Sri Lanka A with a 126-run stand for the sixth wicket.
Yashpal was slow until he got into the fourties, but nevertheless defied the bowling and gave Rawat good support. Rawat picked up boundaries in small bursts - three off Herath to move past 50, a couple more off Dammika Prasad to break another dry spell - and progressed to an unbeaten 96 at stumps, four shy of a third first-class hundred.
If Yashpal and Rawat were composed during their innings, Joginder was aggressive. He worked the ones and twos faster than the rest, and in in the 177th over, bowled by Akalanka Ganegama, Joginder slammed two fours and a six to move past 50. His dismissal in the last half hour of play was followed by Sachin Rana falling for a duck, but North finished the day with all the honours.
For a deflated Sri Lanka A, Herath was the most successful bowler with three wickets.