Ricky Bhui made an unbeaten 103 while Baba Aparajith hit a half-century as South Zone posted a massive first innings total of 630 for eight before declaring on the second day of their Duleep Trophy semifinal against North Zone here on Friday. In reply, North reached 24 for no loss at stumps with the talented Yash Dhull on 8 (18 balls, 1 four) and Manan Vohra batting on 11 (12 balls, 1 fours), still 606 runs adrift of South’s huge first innings score.
In Coimbatore, diminutive opener Prithvi Shaw was in roaring form, hammering an unbeaten 96-ball 104 (11 fours, 3 sixes) as West Zone ended at 130 for three in the second innings to extend their lead against Central Zone to 259 runs.
Resuming at overnight 324 for two, the South batters continued to pile on the runs. Captain Hanuma Vihari, who was batting on 107 overnight, extended his partnership with Indrajith (65, 104 balls, 4 fours) to 105 runs before being trapped LBW by left-arm spinner Mayank Dagar (3 for 184).
Indrajith and Manish Pandey (35) added 57 runs for the fourth wicket before the former became Dagar’s second scalp.
Pandey fell to Dagar at 440 but North’s ordeal was not over as Bhui went on the attack, and with support from K Gowtham (48, 72 balls, 4 fours, 2 sixes) and T Ravi Teja (42, 66 balls, 4 fours, 1 six), swelled the South Zone total.
From 440 for five, Bhui and the others added 190 runs before skipper Vihari declared the innings.
On day one, opener Rohan S Kunnummal smashed a ton on Duleep Trophy debut to put South Zone in control.
Brief scores: South Zone 630 for 8 declared in 172.overs (Rohan Kunnumal 143, Hanuma Vihari 134, Ricky Bhui 103 not out, B Indrajith 65, Mayank Agarwal 49, K Gowtham 48, Mayank Dagar 3 for 184) vs North Zone 24 for no loss in 5 overs. (Toss: South).
West hits back to bundle out Central for 128 after making 257 In the other semifinal, West Zone bowlers came to the fore and dismissed Central Zone for 128 in the first innings, a lead of 129 runs after being restricted to 257.
The attacking Shaw then made sure that West took control of proceedings by coming up with a blistering knock. His spectacular assault on the opposition bowlers meant West had seized the initiative, reaching 130 for three at the close.
After a ton in the quarterfinal against a weak North East team, Shaw demonstrated his batting skills by tearing into the Central zone attack. There was virtually no stopping Shaw as he appeared to strike boundaries at will to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
Even as Shaw went about smashing the bowlers around the park, West lost three wickets, including that of Yashasvi Jaiswal and captain Ajinkya Rahane.
Before the Shaw show, the experienced Jaydev Unadkat (3 for 24) did the early damage while spinner Tanush Kotian picked up three wickets, including that of Karan Sharma, to stifle the Central line-up.
Resuming the second day at overnight 252 for nine, West were able to add only five more runs to the score.
Rahul Tripathi fell to pacer Aniket Choudhary (2 for 48) for 67 to signal the end of the West innings. Left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya Singh was the most successful bowler, finishing with 5 for 66.
Apart from Tripathi’s half-century, opener Prithvi Shaw made 60 (78 balls, 10 fours) and Shams Mulani (41).
The Central Zone innings was rocked early when Unadkat got Yash Dubey LBW for 4. After a partnership of 28 runs, Himanshu Mantri fell for 11 to Unadkat.
Chintan Gaja (1 for 25) and Atit Sheth (2 for 27) also picked up wickets at regular intervals as Central slipped to 94 for seven.
Venkatesh Iyer, who has featured for India in the ODIs and T20s, hit two fours and a six in his brief stay before falling to Kotian for 14.
Karan Sharma (34, 64 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes) was the last man to fall, caught by Tripathi off Kotian.
Brief scores: West Zone 259 all out in 85.4 overs (Rahul Tripathi 67, Prithvi Shaw 60, Shams Mulani 41, Kumar Kartikeya Singh 5 for 66) and 430 for 3 in 29 overs (Prithvi Shaw 104 batting) vs Central Zone 128 all out in 40.1 overs (Karan Sharma 34, Tanush Kotian 3 for 17, Jaydev Unadkat 3 for 24) (Toss: Central). PTI SS AH AH
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