Free Press Journal

Karthik, Balaji star in India Cements’ narrow win


Mumbai: Seasoned Tamil Nadu cricketers Dinesh Karthik and Laxmipathy Balaji played lead roles in India Cements’ exciting 10-run victory over State Bank of Mysore (SBM) that earned them a smooth passage into the semifinals of the 50-over BCCI Corporate Trophy today.

Captain Karthik, who batted at number seven after even Balaji, rescued his team with a blistering 108 off only 88 balls, embellished with five sixes and eight fours, as India Cements recovered from a precarious 98 for 5 to 298 all out, with useful contributions coming from Abhinav Mukund (45), Baba Aparajith (41) and V Yomahesh (33) in the Group D match.

Medium pacer Chetan Williams returned with splendid bowling figures of 6/28 for SBM at the Wankhede Stadium here.

Later, SBM were cruising smoothly towards the target as they were 278 for 6 with 18 balls remaining, before Balaji turned the tables, claiming a couple of wickets in the last two overs to stop SBM at 288 in 49.4 overs.

The former Test pacer bagged the key wicket of big hitting Anirudh Joshi (76 off 58 balls with 4 sixes and 3 fours) to break the seventh wicket stand between him and Sasi Kumar (29 off 30 balls), who also departed in the same over.

Balaji added two more scalps to end up with superb figures of 5 for 40. He was well supported by Yomahesh, who too, bowled a good last couple of overs to keep SBM under check and finished with 2 for 39. The early damage was done by P Amarnath (3 for 61).

This was the cement company’s third win on the trot and earned them a semi-final clash against Comptroller and Auditor General, who qualified for the last four by topping Group B held in Nagpur. The India Cements-CAG semi-final match will be held at the MCA’s BKC Ground here on February 20.

The other semi-final, to be held at Motera Ground in Ahmedabad, will pit defending champions Chemplast, who topped Group A with an all-win record at Ahmedabad, against Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) – who topped Group C held at Vadodara.

5th races: The Supreme Princess Cup dist(abt)1200 mts. Calypso Girl (Dr. M A M Ramaswamy) 62.5 carr 59.5 Md. Azharuddin first Tough One 60.5
Afzal Khan second Burst Of Stardust 54
Imran Chisty third Xavier 59.5 carr 55.5

Jorwar Singh fourth Not ran Cee Four Rest all ran

Won by: 1/2, 3-1/4 and shd
Time: 1 minute 16.556 secs.
Tote: Rs.75/- for win, Rs.22/- , rs.45/- and Rs.14/-for places
Quinella: Rs.745/-
Shp: Rs.161/-
Tanala; Rs.4598/-
Favourite: Burst Of Stardust
Winner trained by: D M David.