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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Central Zone lifts Duleep; India wins ............. and Misbah Ul Haq scores fastest century !!!

Do you follow Indian domestic Cricket ?

At Delhi, the Duleep Trophy finals is on…… the Duleep Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket competition played in India between teams representing geographical zones of India. The competition is named after Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji (also known as "Duleep").  East Zone  were the winners last year.  The competition was started by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in the 1961–62 season. The inaugural tournament was won by West Zone who defeated South Zone in the final by 10 wickets.  North Zone and West Zone have been the most successful teams with 18 wins each.  At Delhi,  Rahul (batting on 121 off 132 balls) oozed authority and class after Bist had done all the hard work by batting with the tail and setting up a target of 301 for Central Zone.  Today,  South just needed  another 117 runs with nine batsmen to follow. Robin Uthappa was out for 30 -  KL Rahul unbeaten 121 and Baba Aparajith 3o n.o. were at the crease- SZ 184 for 1.    

Cuttack  is the former capital and the second largest city in Odisha.  The name of the city bears reference to the ancient Barabati Fort around which the city initially developed. Cuttack is also known as the Millennium City due to its history of 1000 years and the Silver City due to its famous silver filigree works. Cuttack (or Kataka) was founded by King Nrupa Keshari in 989 AD.  The match is played at Barabati Stadium owned and operated by the Odisha Cricket Association.  The  Barabati Fort, a 14th-century fort built by the Ganga dynasty sits next to the modern Barabati Stadium.

A staggering mid-innings explosion from openers Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan set India on course for 363 for 5 in the first ODI in Cuttack.  Lankans folded for 194 giving India a big win.  Away at Abudhabi, Australia are struggling.  The scoreline reads : Australia 261 and 143 for 4 (Warner 58, Zulfiqur Babar 3-65) need another 460 runs to beat Pakistan 570 for 6 dec and 293 for 3 dec (Misbah-ul-Haq 101*, Azhar Ali 100*)

It has been a Series where Aussies have been tamed and records are tumbling one after another.  Pakistan's UAE flattening of Australia entered totally unprecedented dimensions on day four in Abu Dhabi, as Misbah's second century of the match occupied just 56 balls - the same tally required by Viv Richards against England in Antigua 28 years ago.  Glen Turner scored 101 and 110* in both innings of a Test against Australia in 1974. Since then, Australia have played 425 Tests; no one ever achieved the feat of twin centuries against them.  This Test series witnessed three Pakistani batsmen score centuries in both innings of a Test. Younis Khan did it in the first Test with 106 and 103*, while Azhar Ali (109 and 100*) and Misbah Ul Haq (101 and 101*) did it in the second Test. Something that was not managed over 40 years and 425 Tests was achieved by 3 Pakistanis in just 10 days and 2 Tests.

Getting back to Duleep trophy, Central Zone made  276 (Bist 79); SZ gained big lead making 379 379 (Rahul 185, Uthappa 80, Vihari 75, Murtaza 4-59).  Central fought back strongly making  403 (Bist 112*, Fazal 72, Saxena 71, Gopal 4-60) – set to score 301 and starting the day at 184 for 1 – SZ faltered, yes… !!  Central Zone  beat South Zone 291 (Rahul 130, Aparajith 56, Chawla 3-83, Murtaza 3-59) by nine runs.

In an amazing turnaround, triggered by Central Zone's spinners and some panicky batting from South Zone, Central snatched the Duleep Trophy title by nine runs - the narrowest win in the tournament's history, in terms of runs. This was Central's first Duleep triumph in ten seasons.  From 203 for 1 at one stage, SZ were all out for 291.   Pankaj Singh and Jalaj S Saxena too chipped with 2 apiece.  Recall that in Aug 2014 at England Pankaj Singh’s debut became forgettable as he went on to secure the dubious record of most expensive in debut – the towering 1.98m paceman finished with a match haul of 0-179 when  England declared its second innings on 4-205 in the third Test at Southampton.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

2nd Nov 2014.

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