Big win for President's XI

Bangalore Zone take lead against Combined XI

S Aravind of Combined XI successfully appeals for a caught behind verdict against K V Darshan of Bangalore Zone in the Safi Darashah cricket tournament on Friday. DH photo

It needed a large-hearted effort from City XI, who started the day on 67 for two and 224 runs in arrears, to cling on to a draw. But they never managed to such a back-to-the-wall performance, getting bundled out for 208 in their second essay.

President’s XI pace duo of Azghar Pasha and Abhishek Jagan were relentless, seldom allowing the opponents to take any escape routes.

Kunal Kapoor (72 n.o) tried gamely but with Pasha (5-48) and Jagan (3-21) sharing eight wickets among them the rest of the line-up failed to offer any meaningful support to Kapoor as his team slipped to a heavy defeat.

In another match, Bangalore Zone wrested a 116-run first innings lead over Combined XI despite a brave hundred from B Akhil on the third day. When Combined XI started the day at 130 for five, their eventual total, 315, seemed improbable but Akhil had different ideas.

Without getting bogged down by the tough circumstances, the experienced middle-order batsman played a free-wheeling innings (149 n.o., 235b, 15x4, 2x6) and shared a precious 117-run alliance for the sixth-wicket with Nithin Bhille (45) that narrowed the gap between the two sides.

Akhil’s effort seemed to inject fresh dose of confidence into Combined ranks and they bowled with lot more purpose than in the first innings. At close, Bangalore Zone were 120 for six, for an overall lead of 236, as left-arm pacer S Aravind (4-28) wreaked havoc. They would have been in deeper trouble without a fifty from Anirudh Joshi.
Still a day left to be completed, an exciting finish is certainly on cards at the RSI grounds.

Brief scores:
City XI: 239 all out and 208 all out in 68.5 overs (Kunal Kapoor 72 n.o,; Azghar Pasha 5-48, Abhishek Jagan 3-21) lt to President’s XI: 530 all out.
Bangalore Zone: 431 all out and 120/6 in 39 overs (Anirudh Joshi 52; S Arvind 4-28) vs Combined XI: 315 all out in 94 overs (Akhil 149 n.o., Nithin Bhille 45; Aditya Sagar 3-63, Ryan Ninan 2-102, Abrar Kazi 2-42, SK Moinuddin 2-27).

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