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Roundup: Inter-State One-Day League, Day 7

Services, Haryana, Punjab claim victories

After Rajat Paliwal set up the match in Services’ favour with an unbeaten century, a collective effort from the bowlers helped his team overcome DDCA. In another North Zone encounter, Prashant Chopra’s century went in vain as Himachal suffered a loss against Punjab. Meanwhile, bowlers starred in Haryana’s victory over J&K. Here is the roundup for the day:

North Zone

DDCA vs SSCB: Services cantered to a 44-run win against DDCA in Delhi. S C Yadav, Diwesh Pathania, A S Sakuja and AR Singh claimed two wickets apiece, while Shadab Nazar chipped in with one wicket to bowl Delhi out for 213 in 48.2 overs. JS Anand resisted with an 82-ball 69, while the rest of the line-up caved in to the Services attack. Earlier, after being asked to bat first, SSCB were reduced to 36 for three by Sumit Narwak and Vikas Tokas. However, Rajat Paliwal rescued the Services innings with an unbeaten 105 and took the team to 257 for five. He was ably supported by captain Yashpal Singh, who made 75 off 97 balls.

Haryana vs J&K: Bowlers claimed a 44-run victory for Haryana against J&K. Defending 152, J Sharma and Harshal Patel sent back the top four batsmen, to leave J&K on 40 for four. Y Chahal then claimed three, while K Hooda and Rahul Dewan picked one wicket each to bowl J&K out for 108. Earlier, Haryana scored 152 for five after being inserted to bat first in a match that was reduced to 20 overs a side. Rahul Dewan (45) and Nitin Saini (42*) were the top scores for their team in this North Zone match.

Himachal vs Punjab: Chasing 248, Punjab scampered to a two-wicket win against Himachal. Although they lost their top four batsmen for low scores, Gurkeerat Singh and H A Chawala's determined efforts helped rescue the innings. Gurkeerat scored 83, while HA Chawala made a valuable 64-run contribution. GH Khera (14*) then held up one end to take his team across the line with 12 balls to spare. Earlier, Himachal were left reeling on five for the loss of two wickets in two overs after opting to bat first against. Sandeep Sharma and S Kaul sent back Ankush Bains and Paras Dogra for ducks to get Punjab off to a good start. But Prashant Chopra and N Gangta joined forces to revive the innings and took their team to 109 before the latter was removed by Yuvraj Singh. Gangta returned for 63, but Chopra (109*) rallied on to take his team to 247.

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I think No.4 is a challenging position: Rahane

India batsman also talks about his stint as opener in Asia Cup 2014

India bid adieu to the Asia Cup 2013-14 with an eight-wicket win over Afghanistan. Ravindra Jadeja dismantled the top order and was complemented by the rest of the attack while bowling the opposition out for a paltry total. Ajinkya Rahane, who has been contributing valuable runs in the middle order, then came out to open the innings with Shikhar Dhawan and propelled the team to victory. The youngster, who has impressed with his batting in recent outings, scored 56 during the chase.

Speaking about his innings, he said, “It is always a good feeling when you score runs, but obviously we are disappointed that we have not qualified for the final. But overall, we had two close matches so the credit should go to the bowlers, because it is not easy to bowl in conditions with dew. But the way the spinners and the fast bowlers bowled was good.”

Rahane, who has opened earlier in his career and continues to open on occasions in other formats in domestic matches, has been batting for the national side in the middle order. While talking opening in ODIs in place of Rohit Sharma, he explained, “Opening the innings was not my decision. It was the management’s decision - the captain and the coach. But I am happy that I went and scored runs.”

Discussing the difference between opening the innings and batting at No.4, he said, “In this innings I opened, earlier in the New Zealand tour, I batted at No.4, and did so in the first three games also. The No.4 position is slightly challenging. It is a new role for me. I am learning at No.4. Today was not my decision. The coach and captain wanted me to open. I am happy that I got 56 and got a few runs for the team. Obviously, we played good cricket, especially Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin bowled well and so did Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.”

Elaborating on the challenges of batting at No.4 and opening, he mentioned, “As an opener you get the first 10 overs of the new ball. I like my instinct and play my shots. At No.4, it depends on situation, whether it is 30 for two or 150 for two when you come in to bat. There are different situations if I bat at No.4. It is very crucial as you have to rotate the strike and play your shots, back your instincts. I think No.4 is a challenging position.”
Asked about his preferred batting position he said, “In T20 and domestic cricket I have opened.”

“This is not in my hands. Frankly speaking, it is up to the team management where they want me to bat,” he reiterated and added, “I am happy that I am batting at No.4. I am learning a lot and it is a new role for me. Also, (I am) looking to the T20 World Cup, really looking (forward) to the challenge.”

While talking about the back-to-back recent series defeats and forthcoming World T20, he said, “We are looking forward to T20 World Cup. We learnt a lot from this Asia Cup, New Zealand and South Africa tours. As a team we learnt, but obviously we did not win. As a young team, we are approaching the game very well. The attitude is good. That’s what matters in cricket. As team members, our boys are putting in the effort.”

Asked about Virat Kohli’s captaincy and MS Dhoni’s leadership, the young batsman said, “Playing under Virat is also a good experience. He is also doing a good job in all the formats of the game. He is also learning a lot from Dhoni Bhai. He handled the team very well, but we missed Dhoni Bhai for this tournament because he is an experienced captain.”