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In the zone – North

Barinder Sran nursing injured shoulder at NCA

After a sensational international debut against Australia, Punjab’s left-arm quick Barinder Sran missed the Irani Cup match due to a shoulder injury and is undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru under physiotherapist Andrew Liepus. He is pursuing core and strengthening exercises at the NCA to regain match-fitness at the earliest. With the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting on April 10, he would be keen to get match-fit and hope to compete in the tournament for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

After claiming three wickets in Perth, his performance dipped in the following two matches as he went wicketless. Back from Australia, Sran joined his coach Amit Uniyal in Chandigarh and worked on his fitness. After a while, it became imperative for the bowler to go at NCA for specialized advice and rehabilitation.

Speaking about the injury, Sran’s coach and former Punjab left-arm pacer, Uniyal, said, “Barinder had a dream start while playing for India. Taking three wickets in your first game, that too against Australia means a lot. However, he could not perform that well in the next two matches he played for India. His shoulder had started to trouble him. When he returned to India, I made him concentrate more on core training rather than bowling. At the same time, he was working hard on his shoulder with Punjab’s physiotherapist Ravi too. I think it was best for him to go at NCA and go into a recovery and rehab period. I am in touch with him and he seems to have recovered well.” Sran, who hails from Sirsa in Haryana, took three wickets against Australia in Perth.

Sran came into limelight during his Ranji Trophy outings for Punjab. He picked 18 wickets during the league stage of Ranji Trophy. The 23-year old, who played for Rajasthan Royals in the 2015 IPL, was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 1.2 crore in the auction ahead of the upcoming edition of the IPL. He will be looking forward to showcase his abilities in the forthcoming edition of the IPL.

“Injuries are part of fast bowlers’ lives. Sran should not be bogged down by injuries and work hard on fitness. I am sure he will be back from NCA, recovered and fit. There will be sometime ahead of the IPL to train and become match-fit,” added coach Uniyal, who has 89 first-class wickets to his credit.

North Zone women have a poor outing in Senior Women’s three-day zonals

The North Zone women’s team led by Delhi’s Latika Kumari disappointed with their performance during their four matches in the ongoing senior women’s three-day zonal tournament in Guntur. North Zone women are winless in the tournament and finished with a mere three points in its kitty.

The North Zone women lost one game and drew the other three. However, some of its cricketers like Taniya Bhatia, Reema Malhotra did well in the batting department while Preeti Bose and Mansi Joshi shone in the bowling line-up.

Bhatia, who belongs to Chandigarh, scored 202 runs in six innings while Reema Malhotra made 153 runs in six innings. Meanwhile, left-arm spinner from Haryana, Bose, who recently made her India debut, took 12 wickets in the six innings she bowled. Medium-pacer Joshi from Haryana impressed with 10 wickets in six innings.

Apart from North Zone, South Zone, Central Zone, East Zone and West Zone are competing in the tournament. Playing their last match in the tournament, Central Zone stands tall in the tally with 11 points.

Umesh Kumar Trophy gets underway

The Umesh Kumar Trophy for Under-23s under the aegis of Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) got underway at different venues of Punjab districts from March 10. The teams have been divided into two pools for the competition. Pool-A consists of Chandigarh, Zone-B, Amritsar and Ludhiana while Pool-B will comprise of Patiala, Zone-A, Jalandhar and Mohali.

All the matches will be of four-day duration. The matches will be played in Chandigarh, Patiala, Mohali, Jalandhar and Amritsar. The league stage of the tournament will finish on March 24. The first semi-final will be played from March 17 to 30 between the No.1 team of Pool-A and No.2 team from Pool-B while the second semi-final will be between the No.2 of Pool-A and No.1 of Pool-B. The final will be played from April 2 to 5, 2016. The venue of the semi finals and finals will be announced by the association at a later date. This is the first tournament by PCA for the 2016-2017 season. The Punjab U-23 team had reached the quarter-finals for the U-23 Col. C.K. Nayudu Trophy 2015-16. 

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In the zone – West

Satyajeet Bachhav finishes as leading wicket-taker in Col CK Nayudu Trophy

Satyajeet Bachhav, a left-arm spinner from Nashik, finished the Under-23 Col CK Nayudu Trophy as the highest wicket-taker, with 36 scalps in six matches at an impressive average of 18.88. Maharashtra largely benefitted from his form as they made it through to the semi-final of the tournament, only to be beaten by Mumbai on the first innings lead.

Bachhav had played Ranji Trophy cricket for Maharashtra a few years ago and returned to the senior side this year for the T20 matches. The good form shown in this season promises to propel him higher ahead of the next assignment later this year. 

Speaking to BCCI.TV, Bachhav said, “I worked on my accuracy (before this season). I also focused on line and length. My main style of bowling is to attack the stumps. My strength is to get the batsmen leg-before or bowled.” That work has paid dividends this year as he also bagged four five-wicket hauls. His best spell of the season came against Mumbai U-23s in the semi-final, but was not enough to prevent the opposition from progressing. Bowling first change, he took six for 193 while doing the bulk of the bowling for his team.

Left-arm spin wasn’t the first option for the bowler, who started off as a seamer. “I started playing when I was nine years-old. I was initially a fast bowler. During a practice match, my fast bowling wasn’t going well. I then bowled spin and that was good. My coach then told me that I should bowl left-arm spin henceforth. I started working on it and then pursued it,” he said while explaining the course of events that led to switching of skills. Bachhav also tries to do his bit with the bat as he strives to stay in the middle and fight it out.

Now, Bachhav is eyeing a spot in Maharashtra’s senior side for the Ranji Trophy. Coming off a good season, he would be confident of making it to the next level sooner than later. Also, playing T20 cricket for the senior side would have the young cricketer immense belief.

MCA to allow young cricketers a chance to watch WT20 warm-ups

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai is currently playing host to some warm-up encounters ahead of the ICC World T20, 2016. It started off with New Zealand taking on Sri Lanka on March 10. New Zealand will take on England on March 12 in the afternoon while India will face South Africa in the second match of Saturday. 

This is an important round for teams as they prepare for the premier tournament. However, this is also an interesting time for some of the young cricketers in the city.

The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) announced that the school teams featuring in the Giles and Harris Shield along with Inter-College tournament teams will be given complimentary tickets to watch these warm-ups. “Interested Schools/Colleges shall bring a letter requesting the allotment of tickets for any one match day on their letter head. The tickets can be collected from the office of the Association from 09th March 2016 after 03.00 pm and shall be given on first come first serve basis,” the MCA released in a statement before the matches got underway.

The move would help young players watch some of the players that they look up to compete at the highest level. Watching their stars play in the middle is a great experience and the youngsters can learn from these encounters. Many cricketers have spoken about their first time watching a match in the stadium and its impact on them. 

During the first warm-up match in Wankhede, between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, the crowd was treated to some good batting by Colin Munro and Corey Anderson. There was some brave six-hitting on display at the Wankhede and followed by a practice Super Over. The fans had taken their seats in the stadium in the North Stand and enjoyed every moment of the game. 

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