President's XI in Control

Bhat, Sinan claim four wickets apiece to restrict Combined City XI

President's XI in Control

A combined effort by pace and spin departments paid rich dividends for President’s XI as they restricted Combined City XI to 244 all out in 79.1 overs to gain a slight upperhand on the opening day of the two-day final of SA Srinivasan Memorial Trophy here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday.

Opting to bowl first, President’s pacers made full use of the overcast conditions to push Combined batsmen on the backfoot and as the day wore on, spinners did their part with aplomb to provide their batsmen with a good chance of overhauling the total.
A cautious President’s XI, in reply, were 39/0 with skipper Karun Nair (26 batting) looking in ominous touch.

Abhishek Bhat (4/47), given the task of sharing the new ball, didn’t disappoint his captain as the paceman ripped apart the Combined top-order with a combination of swing and pace in ideal conditions for a seamer. Later, leg-spinner Sinan Abdul Khader (4/48) ran through the lower order.

Though the pitch held no demons as evidenced in the batting of Majid (60, 94b, 8x4) and Chiranjeevi (68, 128b, 6x4), Combined found it hard against the relentless Bhat and his new-ball partner David Mathias.

Within no time, Bhat had reduced Combined to 26 for three, having dismissed Lyan Khan, Shashindra and skipper Kaunian Abbas. After the quick setbacks, President’s XI found some stability through a 78-run association between Majid and last-match double centurion Sanjay (30).

However, left-arm spinner J Suchith, whose figures of 1/53 from 20 overs didn’t really reflect the quality of his bowling, put an end to the resistance by having Sanjay caught by Bhat.

Coming back into the attack, Bhat ended Majid’s doughty stay when the batsman nicked one behind to Sadiq Kirmani.

With half the side back in the change room with just 132 runs on the board, Combined were in deep trouble when Chiranjeevi joined forces in the middle with Amanraj (33) to resurrect the innings.

Having raised 86 runs between them, the two were going strong when Sinan got into the act. The bowler, a beneficiary of Suchith’s tight bowling at the other end, accounted for the well-set duo of Chiranjeevi and Amanraj and then grabbed two more to wipe the tail off.

Brief scores: Combined City XI: 244 all out in 79.1 overs (Majid 60, Sanjay R Kumar 30, Chiranjeevi 68, Amanraj 33; Abhishek Bhat 4-47, Sinan Abdul Khader 4-48) vs President’s XI: 39/0.

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