Rajkot, Feb 11 (UNI) East Zone bowlers restricted defending champions North Zone to 260 for seven on a batting track on the opening day of the four-day Duleep Trophy Match at the Madhav Rao Scindia Grounds, here today.
North Zone, at one stage looked as though their batting headed for a collapse as their top order batsmen failed, leaving them 28 for three. However, when Captain Mithun Manhas and Yashpal Singh stepped in, their determination denied the East Zone, putting on 54 runs for the fourth wicket.
North Zone, who elected to bat first after winning the toss, saw openers --Akash Chopra and Shikhar Dhawan -- facing difficulties in getting runs against tight bowling of medium pacers D Mohanty, R Bose and S S Paul. Openers could add only 20 runs in 18 overs before medium pacer S S Paul struck in the 19th over of the day and bowled Akash Chopra with his beautiful inswinger. He had made 10 runs.
Karan Goel before settling down, was also bowled by medium pacer S S Paul for nought. D Shekhar, who's eyes set after initially anxious moments, when Medium pacer D Mohanty struck and was caught behind by H Das after scoring 18 runs. North Zone reeling 28 for three.
Mithun Manhas and Yashpal Singh added 54 runs before later was caught behind by H Dass off medium pacer S S Paul after scoring 25 runs in which he smashed four boundaries while facing 52 balls.
Rajat Bhatia joined the skipper and both added 79 runs for the fifth wicket before former was caught at long off by S S Das for his individual score of 24 runs, that included three boundaries.
At tea break, the score was 174/5 and Captain Mithun Manhas was playing on 88 and U Kaul was on 7.
The North Zone captain was heading for his century, after resumption of the play after tea break, when he was caught at long off by substitute S Sarkar off spinner Niranjan Behra without addition of any run to his individual 88. His innings were studded with 13 fours and a mighty six while facing 131 balls.
U Kaul and Amit Mishra stitched 76 runs for the seventh wicket before later was brilliantly caught at deep third man by Wriddhman Saha off S S Paul. He had made 52 runs with the aid of seven fours and one six off 86 balls.
At stumps, U Kaul and C Nanda were batting on 40 and 0 respectively.
From East Zone, medium pacer S S Paul bowled with fire to capture four wickets for 60 runs while D Mohanty took two for 28. Spinner N Behra accounted for one by conceding 38 runs.
BRIEF SCORES : North Zone first innings: 260 for seven in 90 overs (M Manhas 88, U Kaul not out 40, A Mishra 52, S S Paul four for 60, D Mohanty two for 28 and N Behra one for 38).
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