New Zealand 'A' lifts Buchi Babu Trophy

CHENNAI, AUG. 30.The New Zealand `A' team's visit here was primarily to ``learn as much as possible about the sub- continental conditions''.

A laboured journey in the fortnight-long MRF-Buchi Babu Trophy tournament saw it reaping the results of hard work as the team lifted the trophy, defeating Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), by virtue of its first innings lead, here on Thursday.

The match was virtually over on the second day itself, when CAB lost five wickets for 74 and just the formalities that one went through on the third and final day at Chepauk on Thursday.

With defeat staring at CAB's face, the overnight batsmen Soumen Singh and Sanjib Sanyal decided the best way was to take on the bowlers and they did so with aplomb, adding 100 runs in 18.1 overs for the sixth wicket.

Sanjib top scored with 73 (77b, 13 x 4) while Laxmi Ratan Shukla made a quickfire 29 (8b, 4x6). However, with the dismissal of Soumen and Sanjib, the innings quickly folded at 214, 28 minutes before lunch.

The successful bowler for the Kiwis was leg spinner, Brooke Walker, with four for 50. Exercising its option of not asking the opposition to follow on, New Zealand preferred to gain some more practice for the upcoming Moin-ud-dowla tournament, and finished its second innings at 90 for three.

``Lou Vincent and Hamish Marshall going on to compile centuries on the second day, was the turning point for us,'' said coach, Ashley Ross. Skipper Rohan Gavaskar attributed the defeat to the inability of the team to exploit the moisture on the wicket on the first day.

Admitting the decision to put New Zealand `A' in, was not the right one, he said, ``in hindsight, it was a mistake but it was a team decision. There is no point in blaming the bowlers now.''

Mr. Arun Mammen, Whole Time Director, MRF Ltd. gave away the Trophy. Mr. Ashok Kumbhat, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, presided.

The scores:New Zealand `A' 486 for seven decl. & 90 for three in 31 overs (Matthew Horne 46 not out) drew with CAB 214 in 55.5 overs (Rohan Gavaskar 27, Soumen Singh 34, Sanjib Sanyal 73, L.R. Shukla 29, Brooke Walker four for 50, Jacob Oram three for 21).