Zol cracks ton on first-class debut as India A score 388/7

Visakhapatnam: Stylish left-hander Vijay Zol carried his stupendous form at the U-19 level to first-class cricket, scoring a fluent century on debut as the three-day encounter between India A and New Zealand A ended in a draw here on Friday.

In reply to New Zealand`s total of 310, India A scored a healthy 388 for seven courtesy Zol`s 110 and skipper Abhishek Nayar`s unbeaten 102.

The two umpires called time in the 94th over after Nayar (102 not out) reached his 12th first-class century. He faced 110 balls and hit 14 boundaries and a six.

The day, however, belonged to 18-year-old Zol, who hit 19 boundaries in his 153-ball knock. It looked as if the boy hailing from Maharashtra`s Marathwada region is carrying his good form at the U-19 level, where he had successful tours of Australia and Sri Lanka.

For someone playing his first longer version match at the first-class level, Zol impressed one and all with his technique as well as temperament.

He found the gaps at will against seamers Mark Gillespie and Doug Bracewell and used his feet to good effect against leg-break bowlers Ish Sodhi and Todd Astle.

He shared a few fruitful partnerships of 77 runs for the third wicket with opener Jiwanjot Singh (48), 97 runs for the fourth wicket with Manpreet Juneja (43) and 60 with his skipper Nayar for the fifth wicket.

Medium pacer Carl Cachopa finally dismissed Zol as he played to a wrong line to get bowled.

Nayar found an ally in CM Gautham (16) as they added 56 runs for the seventh wicket with the India A skipper reaching half-century.

India`s bowling hero Jalaj Saxena (10) was dismissed cheaply as India were 351 for seven but Dhawal Kulkarni (7 not out) provided support as Nayar inched towards his century.

On a slow track at the Port Trust Stadium, the two New Zealand leggies Sodhi (2/100 in 23.5 overs) and Astle (3/106 in 18 overs) accounted for five wickets while Bracewell (1/48) and Cachopa (1/56) got a wicket apiece.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 310 in 77.3 overs.

India 388/7 in 93.5 overs (Vijay Zol 110, Abhishek Nayar 102 no, Jiwanjot Singh 48, Todd Astle 3/106, Ish Sodhi 2/100). Match Drawn.