SPORT

East coasts to victory

CHENNAI JAN. 3. East got an early grip on its Deodhar Trophy inter-zonal overs-limit championship opener against West with its new ball bowlers, Ranadeb Bose and Debasis Mohanty, making good use of the fresh wicket and overcast conditions at the Chidambaram Stadium, here on Friday.

While the dark clouds gave way to bright sunshine (start was delayed by half an hour), there was no looking up for West, with Bose running through his quota of 10 overs conceding just 20 runs and claiming the wickets of openers Niranjan Godbole and southpaw Connor Williams.

East's skipper Rohan Gavaskar made the right moves and bowling changes. He had mediumpacers operating at one end right through and kept things tight. It was a solid team effort, really, the body language and attitude of the fielders displaying the will to win.

West, opting to bat, was restricted to 173 for nine in the allotted 50 overs and East reduced it to a no-contest with Devang Gandhi making a swashbuckling 109 (129m, 112b, 12x4, 2x6) and putting on 170 for the unbroken second wicket with M.S. Dhoni (55, 97b, 1x4, 1x6). Having achieved the target at a run rate 1.25 times more than the opposition's, it got a bonus point in addition to the four for victory.

Young left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan (Jr) trapped S.S. Das leg-before in the third over of the innings. In walked Devang Gandhi, the former Test opener, who quite simply dominated the attack. Cautious to begin with, he shifted gears smoothly before the final assault. The duo put on 37 in the last four overs, bowled by off-spinner Rajesh Powar and leg-spinner Sairaj Bahutule, which actually included a maiden by the former. In them, Gandhi took 17, including a six, off Bahutule, in what was the last over of the match. Earlier, he took 15 off a Powar over in a display of power and timing.

The scores:

West Zone: C. Williams lbw b Bose 10, N. Godbole c Dhoni b Bose 1, V. Mane c Dhoni b Chatterjee 43, H. Kanitkar c Dhoni b Mullick 15, A. Kale c Rohan b Chatterjee 15, R. Morris c&b Mullick 16, S. Bahutule c Dhoni b Rohan 21, R. Powar c Mullick b Rohan 5, M. Mewada (not out) 24, I. Pathan (Jr) c S.S. Das b Chatterjee 9, S. Trivedi (not out) 2. Extras (lb-1, w-10, nb-1) 12. Total (for nine wkts., in 50 overs) 173.

Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-44, 3-75, 4-79, 5-98, 6-118, 7-125, 8-145, 9-166.

East Zone bowling: D. Mohanty 10-2-31-0, Ranadep Bose 10-1-20-2, Javed Zaman 4-0-32-0, Utpal Chatterjee 9-1-25-3, Prabanjan Mullick 10-2-27-2, Rohan Gavaskar 7-0-37-2.

East Zone: S.S. Das lbw b Pathan (Jr) 1, M.S. Dhoni (not out) 55, Devang Gandhi (not out) 109. Extras (w-2, nb-7) 9. Total (for one wkt., in 35 overs) 174.

Fall of wicket: 1-4.

West Zone bowling: I. Pathan (Jr.) 6-1-16-1, S. Trivedi 4-0-20-0, Robin Morris 3-0-25-0, R. Powar 7-1-37-0, S. Bahutule 10-0-49-0, H. Kanitkar 4-0-23-0, V. Mane 1-0-4-0.

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