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Bokaro, Jamshedpur post wins

Host Jamshedpur and steel city Bokaro eked out gritty wins on Thursday to register an emphatic start to their senior inter-district cricket tournament campaign for the HP Bodhanwala Trophy.

While Jamshedpur put it across Koderma by 157 runs at the Keenan Stadium, the Bokaro team held its nerve to seal a one-wicket victory over Lohardaga at Kadmaís Shaheed Nirmal Mahto Stadium.

At Keenan Stadium, Jamshedpur skipper Saurabh Tiwary won the toss and had no hesitations in opting to bat first on the surface. Openers Vishal Singh and Deobrat Das proved their captainís decision right by putting together 143 runs for the first wicket.

Das made merry on a batting friendly wicket, or so it seemed, toying with Kodermaís bowling attack to score an 89-ball century, which was punctuated with five hits to the fence. Dasís quick fire effort, however, was in contrast to his partner Vishal Singh who scored a patient 55 runs in 87 deliveries that contained six boundaries.

Later in the innings Ajit Kumar Dwivedi helped himself to 41 runs while captain Tiwary chipped in with 43 runs of 32 balls (2x4, 2x6) to set Koderma a total of 275 for victory in 50 overs.

In reply, the Koderma team witnessed a phenomenal batting collapse to be shot out for only 122 runs in 33 overs. Left-arm spinner Mithun Mukherjee proved to be the destroyer in chief for the hosts bagging five wickets for 20 runs. Sujit Yadav supported the spinnerís efforts by claiming three wickets .

The Lohardaga versus Bokaro match, played on a green top in Kadma, on the other hand saw both teams fighting till the last ball for victory.

Winning the toss and opting to bat first, the Lohardaga outfit scored a challenging 264 runs in their allotted quota of 50 overs, riding largely on the exploits of their captain Kumar Mridul.

Mridul, who scored a composed 76 (107 balls, 6x4), paired up with opening Babul first to stitch together a partnership of 52 runs, which was replete with intelligently run singles. Though both the batsman kept the scoreboard ticking, a little lapse in concentration led Babul to spoon a catch to B. Gupta of the bowling of Rahul Mishra when he was on 30 runs 76 (107 balls, 6x4). Mridul, however, stayed put to lead his team to a decent total by playing a captainís innings.

Coming in to chase, Bokaro lost wickets at regular intervals to almost throw the match away. However, opener Sandeep Gupta, who scored 57 runs (75 balls, 5x4, 1x6), had other ideas. Gupta paired up with Kumar Deobrat, who scored 94 off 95 balls (8x4, 5x6), to steer his team to victory.

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