Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Dinesh Karthik century firms up South Zone

Dinesh KarthikDinesh Karthik's attacking, unbeaten 161, laced with 23 hits to the fence, put South Zone in front against West Zone in an empty Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. The Hyderabad Cricket Association decided to not allow spectators in the stadium, fearing crowd trouble due to the political situation in Andhra Pradesh.

The absence of any support appeared to have had its effect on South Zone in the initial stages of their innings, as the West Zone seamers made their mark, dismissing the openers with just 34 on the board. In conditions favourable to batting, and given the importance of a first-innings lead, South Zone would have been disappointed with the start they got.

But the middle order stepped up. Ganesh Satish scored a patient half-century before being dismissed with the score on 120, but Karthik, by then, had found his groove. He was involved in a stand of 121 with wicketkeeper M Gautam (49) and 89 with Rohan Prem (24) to guide his side beyond 300.

Irfan Pathan's three-for was a highlight for West Zone, but Karthik's presence at the crease, with the score currently on 356 for 6, should provide enough encouragement for South Zone to put up a substantial score on the second day.

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