Raju ton fails to spur Presidents

Combined XI build on slender lead; City XI on top against Bangalore Zone

Sunil N Raju acknowledges the applause of his team-mates after  completing his century at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday. DH Photo

In what is shaping up into a low-scoring thriller, Combined XI had opened up an overall advantage of 104 with six second innings wickets in hand when rains forced a slightly premature end to the day’s proceedings.

Overnight 79 for three in response to Combined’s modest 201 all out, President’s XI were saved from complete embarrassment only because Raju stood firm.

The tall right-hander struck 11 fours and three sixes during his 180-ball 102, comfortably accounting for more than half his team’s runs during his defiant stint.

However, he couldn’t prevent his team from being bowled out for 195, six runs behind the Combined tally, and Aditya B Sagar plugged away on his way to figures of four for 57. Abrar Kazi and off-spinner Udit Patel took two wickets each.

Combined had reached 98 for four in their second essay, Sudhindra Shinde carrying their hopes on an undefeated 39 when play had to be called off.

City XI took their mid-table clash with Bangalore Zone by the scruff of the neck at the NRA (T) grounds.

Stuart Binny was in the forefront, first with the ball and then with the bat, as City finished 352 runs to the good with two wickets in hand.

SL Akshay and DV Anish returned identical figures of three for 36 and Binny took two for 47 as Bangalore Zone, resuming on 40 for one in reply to City’s 305, keeled over for 131.
Only skipper CM Gautam with 51 offered any resistance worth the name.

Armed with a 174-run lead, City XI had reached 178 for eight in their second innings, Binny standing out with a stroke-filled 90 and MR Dharshan taking the bowling honours with five for 64, when the rains arrived.

Brief scores: At Chinnaswamy stadium: Combined XI: 201 all out in 60.4 overs and 98/4 in 30.2 overs (Sudhindra Shinde 39 n.o.; Raghavendra Rao AV 2-19) vs President’s XI: 195 all out in 74 overs (Sunil N Raju 102; Aditya B Sagar 4-57, Abrar Kazi 2-47, Udit Patel 2-35). At NRA (T) grounds: City XI: 305 all out in 76.5 overs and 178/8 in 44 overs (Suraj Sampath 28, Stuart T Binny 90; Darshan MR 5-64) vs Bangalore Zone: 131 all out in 43.3 overs (CM Gautam 51, Sadiq Kirmani 28; Stuart T Binny 2-47, SL Akshay 3-36, DV Anish 3-36).

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