Cricket South Zone clinched the J.K. Bose trophy

South Zone clinched the J.K. Bose trophy cricket tournament crown at the Sports Authority of Goa Gymkhana grounds recently. For the winner, it was triumph after a long drought and the manner in which it went about its campaign was most impressive. South won all its matches in the league conducted by the Sports Journalists Federation of India and always by a comfortable margin. South's skipper R. Kaushik led by example, clutching a blinder after leaping low to his left in the lung-opener against defending champion West Zone. Earlier, Kaushik had combined well with man-of-the-series Satish Vishwanathan in a solid opening stand that helped the side set up a sizeable target for West, which the latter fell short of in its run chase.

As the tournament progressed, the partnership between Satish and Kaushik continued to prosper. The former doing a fine job behind the stumps too, grabbing the snicks and effecting run-outs. There was no loud condemnation of lapses in fielding, bowling or batting, but plenty of cheers.

Abhishek Badkar, considered for selection by the Deccan Chargers for IPL 3, was hard to beat with bat and ball. Abhishek backed opening bowler Mallikacharan well. Malli and Mahesh were each on a hat-trick in two matches, the latter snapping up a sharp offering off his own bowling. The find of the tournament was Hyderabad's own Hanumantha Prasad, whose unerring line kept the batsmen on their toes while giving them little room to score.

The second line of attack comprising the over 6-1/2 foot tall C. Santhosh Kumar and Parthasarathi Mitra chipped in well. On the boundary line Koppa Dindal and Venkat Narayan toiled to ensure nothing passed them. Twelfth man Vanamali carried the drinks, so essential in sapping heat and humidity, while manager S.S. Shreekumar's moral support was never lacking.

The above tournament and the A.C. Bali table tennis championships went off flawlessly thanks to the attention to detail by SJFI office-bearers S. Sabanayakan, A. Vinod, G. Vishwanath, Gordon D'Costa, Subash and Amit Shah.

A. JOSEPH ANTONY

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