Kolkata, Nov 12 (UNI) Sri Lanka A were skittled out for 296 following a devastating bowling display by North Zone's Gagandeep Singh (three for 67) and Rajesh Sharma (four for 85) in their first innings on the first day of the Duleep Trophy final at Eden Gardens here today.
At close, North were 51 for no loss with Aakash Chopra (39 not out) and Gautam Gambhir (7 not out) at the crease.
North skipper Mithun Manhas sent the opposition in on a flat wicket.
But the decision was vindicated by some good bowling upfront and partially by some poor shot selections from a few Sri Lanka A batsmen.
Joginder Sharma (2/33) was very impressive with his line and length and put pressure on the opposition top order.
He used the early morning condition to optimum.
Ashis Nehra, on the other hand, was very disappointing, conceding 87 runs in 16 overs.
The visitors were reduced to 3/48 in the 14th over before a 62-run fourth wicket partnership between Malinda Warnapura (65; 11X4, 1X6) and Jehan Mubarak (39) helped resurrect the innings to some extent.
Warnapura, who recovered from a sore shoulder to play the final, reached his half century in 64 balls. But Gagandeep, coming on his second spell, removed him with a widish delivery.
Yashpal Singh at gully took a blinder.
Off spinner Sharma then initiated a lower-middle order collapse.
First he foxed a well-set Mubarak with one that broke sharply and then added Rangana Herath (17), Dhamika Prasad (7) and Ishara Amarasinghe (0) to his kitty.
In between, Gagandeep accounted for Chamara Silva (84; 13X4), while Kaushal Silva (27) was run out.
The two batsmen raised hopes for the visitors with an 88-run sixth wicket partnership. Chamara particularly was very severe on anything loose.
But he would be disappointed with the stroke that brought his downfall. Akalanka Ganegama (31 not out) offered some resistance in the tail but ran out of partners. That all rounder Upul Chandana's hamstring played up and forced him to miss the tie was also a setback for the Islanders.
Chopra attacked from the outset as North began their reply. His innings so far has eight boundaries. Gambhir on the other end was unusually contained. The two openers complimented each other well.
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