Ganguly gets another duck as East stumble

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sourav Ganguly fell for a duck in the second innings as well, as a dismal batting performance by East Zone saw them concede the initiative to West.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Sourav Ganguly fell for a duck in the second innings as well, as a dismal batting performance by East Zone saw them concede the initiative to West on the second day of the Duleep Trophy final here today. Ganguly, overlooked by the selectors yet again yesterday for the first three one-dayers against South Africa, was trapped leg-before wicket off the very first ball he faced from Zaheer Khan. The former Indian skipper became the third victim of Zaheer, who had accounted for Ganguly for a nought in the first innings also, when East came out to bat in the second innings after lunch today. Zaheer also picked the wickets of openers Arindam Das (0) and S S Das (13) as East Zone were left gasping at 176 for nine when bad light forced play to be called off on the second day. East Zone could never manage to get into a groove after they bowled out West for 157 in their first innings this morning. After Zaheer's heroics, it was the turn of Rakesh Patel to show his worth as he had Rohan Gavaskar caught behind by Parthiv Patel for 13. In just over 11 overs into the second innings of East Zone, the cream of the batting had vanished with the score reading 39 for five. However, middle-order batsman Laxmi Ratan Shukla (66) and wicketkeeper Deep Das Gupta (61) steadied the innings with a 120-run stand and showed that the batsmen could flourish provided they applied themselves. There were also some heated moments in the match with words being exchanged between West Zone bowler Munaf Patel and Shukla after Munaf bowled two short-pitched deliveries which hit Shukla. The umpires had to intervene when Zaheer Khan also joined in the spat between the two players. Shukla, who struck four boundaries and a six, fell soon after to a brillant stumping by Parthiv off Sairaj Bahutule to leave the East tail exposed on 159 for 6. Saurashish Lahiri departed in the next over, becoming Zaheer's fourth victim for zero while Deep Das Gupta miscued a half volley from Ramesh Powar to give a simple catch to Bahutule. Ranadeb Bose (0) and SS Paul (0) were the two not out batsmen. Earlier, West Zone's effort to improve their overnight position (61 for five) went in vain with Neeraj Patel (24) becoming the first of the 15 wickets to fall during the day. Neeraj had a brief partnership going with Parthiv Patel (43) who emerged as the highest scorer for West which made 157 to take a slender lead of seven runs. Some last minute fireworks from Zaheer Khan ensured that West overtook East Zone's score. Saurashish Lahiri was the pick of the bowlers for East as he finished with four wickets from the twelve overs he bowled. Ganguly, who once again bowled a good line, could not take his wicket tally any further and had to be content with the three wickets he took yesterday. (PTI)

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