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regular-article-logo Sunday, 26 May 2024

Duleep Trophy: Priyank Panchal's fighting knock keeps West Zone afloat

West need another 116 runs to retain their title, setting the stage for an exciting concluding day

PTI Bangalore Published 16.07.23, 06:22 AM
West Zone captain Priyank Panchal, after his half-century in Bangalore on Saturday.

West Zone captain Priyank Panchal, after his half-century in Bangalore on Saturday. PTI Photo

Shepherded by Priyank Panchal’s determined knock, West Zone defied South Zone bowlers while chasing a formidable 298 and finished Day 4 of the Duleep Trophy final at 182/5 at the Chinnaswamy on Saturday.

West need another 116 runs to retain their title, setting the stage for an exciting concluding day.

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In the first session, South, who were 181/7 overnight in their second essay, were bowled out for 230 as left-arm spinner Dharmendra Jadeja grabbed five wickets. But the day’s protagonist was the West captain.

Panchal, who completed 8,000 runs in first-class cricket en route to his 92 batting off 205 balls, kept the hopes of West alive on an attritional day. Panchal and Sarfaraz Khan stitched 98 for the fifth-wicket alliance in which, the former was the steering force.

Panchal brought forward his years of experience in domestic cricket to thwart the South bowlers for 315 minutes. The Gujarat batter showed unflappable temperament despite wickets tumbling at the other end.

Panchal first looked to forge a partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara (15) for the third wicket. But pacer Vasuki Koushik ended the stand, dismissing Pujara.

Suryakumar Yadav continued his disappointing show. Surya offered no shot to Koushik as the ball came and thudded onto his pads before he was adjudged lbw.

At 79 for 4, West were looking down the barrel before Panchal and Sarfaraz Khan (48) provided some much-needed solidity. They batted together for 126 minutes and for 157 balls as West began to dream about a win that looked improbable at one stage.

But just as it seemed that the pair would take West to the close safely, Sarfaraz fell to R Sai Kishore.

Brief scores: South Zone 213 & 230 (D. Jadeja 5/40). West Zone 146 & 182/5 (P. Panchal 92 batting). Stumps, Day 4.

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