Dhawan in the zone, North begin well

Captain Shikhar Dhawan scored a superb 101 to help North Zone reach 251 for three against West Zone on the opening day of the four-day Duleep Trophy quarterfinal.

On all counts, the day belonged to a depleted North Zone, who are playing without the services of their India players. Opener Rahul Dewan, Sunny Singh and wicket-keeper batsman Nitin Saini batted with utmost caution, like Dhawan, after North won the toss. Dewan (65) and Shikhar played to their potentials and scored at over three runs an over at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The duo grew in confidence as the game wore on and put up their 100-run opening partnership without fuss.

But, soon after reaching the 150-mark in the 52nd over,Shikhar stepped out to drive Kamlesh but missed the ball to be stumped by 'keeper Parthiv Patel. Of the 164 runs that he put together with Dewan for the opening wicket, Shikhar had made 101, with15 boundaries. After sometime, a tired Rahul also made his exit, offering a simple catch to Ajinkya Rahane of off-spinner Kamlesh Makwana.

Sunny and Nitin Singh then combined well to keep the West Zone bowlers at bay. Left arm medium pacer Samad Fallah finally broke the partnership when Sunny edged to Parthiv. He made 46 and added 76 runs in 24 overs for the third wicket with Nitin (37 not out), who was at the crease at stumps.

Brief scores: North 251 for three in 89.2 overs (S Dhawan 101, R Dewan 65, K Makwana two for 60) vs West at the end of Day One at Chepauk

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