Visakhapatnam: The first semi-final of the Duleep Trophy between defending champions East Zone and South Zone is interestingly poised with the former scoring 129 for six in their second innings to enjoy a slender 152-run lead at stumps on Tuesday.
The East Zone bowlers, led by Iresh Saxena and Samar Quadri, bowled out South Zone for 244 in 82.4 overs in their first innings to eke out a 23-run lead.
However, the East Zone batsmen failed to capitalise on the bowlers’ good work.
With just four wickets left, it will be interesting to see how the East Zone batsmen fare in the first hour of play on Wednesday.
If they fail to survive, then the onus will be on South Zone’s batsmen to take the game away from East.
Earlier, Qadri and Saxena picked up two wickets each and Ashok Dinda claimed one as South Zone could add just 110 runs to their overnight score.
However, East Zone played poorly in their second essay. Except for captain Natraj Behera (60), none of the batsmen could make any mark. Behera hit eight fours in his 113-ball innings.
Dheeraj Jadhav (21) and Anustup Majumdar (22) got the starts but failed to convert them.
Stuart Binny (2/25) was the pick of the bowlers for South, while Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun, R Aushik Srinivas and Amit Verma picked up one wicket each.