November 13, 2000

Draws the order of the day in Central Zone

The Central Zone Cooch Behar Trophy match at the Maharani Usharaje Cricket Ground in Indore between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh witnessed an inconclusive draw as Madhya Pradesh due to their massive first innings lead took home five points while Uttar Pradesh got three.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, MP ran up a mammoth 506 for 8 declared after batting for a full one and a half days. The chief architects being opener NV Ojha (184) and N Menon with a unbeaten 100. If it was Ojha who gave the launching pad for the MP innings, it was Menon who took them past the 500 run mark. Having lost three of his partners cheaply, he found JP Likhar (34 not out) and forged an unbeaten 111 run partnership for the ninth wicket.

UP after being on the receiving end so long, were soon struggling at 44 for 3. Then a 67 run fourth wicket stand ensued between skipper A Kapoor (52) and S Dixit (27). But after the skipper's fall the innings collapsed and they were bundled out for 174, giving a lead of 332 runs.

Following-on on the final day on Monday, they fared a little better with the skipper coming in once more to the rescue. A Kapoor with an unbeaten 81 off 214 balls ensured that MP were forced to accept a draw.

The other Central Zone match at Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi featuring Railways and Vidarbha also meandered into a draw with Railways taking five points while Vidarbha, three.

Opting to bat, Vidarbha in their first innings scored 209 thanks to some useful contributions in the middle order. M Rajan with 47 runs off 83 balls was the top scorer. Railways replied with 254 runs, thus taking a 45 run lead. Opener Surinder Singh (93) was the top scorer. Shitoot was the most successful bowler for Vidarbha with figures of 5 for 28 in 14.5 overs.

Vidarbha in their second innings came up against a disciplined Railways attack and were all out for 183 runs thus giving a victory target of 139 runs for Railways. Surinder Singh (5 for 48) and Raza Ali (3 for 51) shared the spoils for Railways. Railways in the 25 overs they got to face made 43 runs while losing three wickets.