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regular-article-logo Monday, 27 May 2024

Duleep Trophy final: South Zone ahead by healthy 248 runs

It was Vidwath Kaverappa’s career-best first-class bowling figures after Venkatesh Prasad’s 7/38 against North Zone in 1993

PTI Bangalore Published 15.07.23, 08:04 AM
South Zone’s Vidwath Kaverappa celebrates his seven-wicket haul in Bangalore on Friday.

South Zone’s Vidwath Kaverappa celebrates his seven-wicket haul in Bangalore on Friday. PTI Photo

The South Zone batters could not ideally complement the effort of their bowlers in their second innings, but still took control of the Duleep Trophy final on the third day here on Friday.

South, who reached 181/7 at stumps, are now ahead by a healthy 248 runs. Earlier, pacer Vidwath Kaverappa bagged seven wickets (7/53) as South wasted little time in bowling out West for 146 to grab a first innings lead of 67 runs.

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It was Vidwath’s career-best first-class bowling figures, and second best for South Zone in Duleep Trophy after Venkatesh Prasad’s 7/38 against North Zone in 1993.

South’s charge to that position of strength with the bat was tectonic. They made a stuttering start to their second innings losing R. Samarth and N. Tilak Varma in quick succession. Samarth was undone by a Chintan Gaja delivery that kept a tad low, while Arzan Nagwaswalla managed to sneak the ball between Tilak’s bat and pads.

South were 8/2 at that stage, and it was not an ideal situation for them as the lead had not even crossed 100.

However, Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari dented West’s ambitions of making further inroads. The third wicket pair added 64 runs in a little more than 14 overs to bring South back into the game.

But the partnership was not as smooth as one would expect considering two experienced batsmen were in the middle. There were several plays and misses and edges that fell short of fielders, but Mayank and Vihari were strong enough to waddle through those pressure points.

Once Mayank and Vihari were dismissed, Ricky Bhui and Sachin Baby formed a solid alliance for the fifth wicket, adding 59 runs off 97 balls.

Sachin essayed a couple of perfect pulls while Bhui played a fine straight drive off Sheth as South swelled their lead past 200.

Both Sachin and Bhui were evicted at the score of 154. But by then South had filled enough fuel for a further push forward until bad light brought curtains to the day.

Brief scores: South Zone 213 & 181/7 (Hanuma Vihari 42). West Zone 146 (Vidwath Kaverappa 7/53). At stumps, Day III.

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