West Zone’s favourites, including former India captain Ajinkya Rahane and KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer, were restricted to 250 for eight by South Zone on the first day of the Duleep Trophy final on Wednesday. It was his unbeaten 83-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Gujarat’s young wicketkeeper-batsman Het Patel (96 not out) and Saurashtra’s veteran Jaydev Unadkat (39 not out) that helped West go from an uncertain 167 for 8 to 250. helped deliver. 8 by the end of 90 overs.
But, a lot is to be expected from an incredibly strong West’s batting line-up like Rahane (8), Iyer (37), Sarfaraz Khan (34), Yashasvi Jaiswal (1) and current India A captain Priyank Panchal (7) Was.
For South Zone, pacers Basil Thampi (2/42 in 15 overs) and CV Stephen (2/39) in 10 overs blew up the West’s top order within the first half hour.
And then, left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore (3/80 in 32 overs) first choked and then ran through the middle-order, before lower-order resistance brought the West back into the game.
In the morning, Hanuma Vihari won the toss and wanted to make the first use of whatever the conditions could help.
Andhra left-arm seamer Stephen answered his captain’s call as Jaiswal was left poked outside the off-stump and caught by keeper Ricky Bhui.
Rahane started off with a boundary, but old habits began to bother him as Kerala pacer Thampi pulled Ravi Teja into the slip cordon to take him to an edge from behind the stumps.
For the right-hander Panchal, Stephen’s delivery straightened a touch after pitching and dropped the India A captain in front of the stumps.
Once it was 16 for 3, the Mumbai pair of Sarfaraz and Iyer came together and looked like reviving the innings with a 48-run partnership.
While Sarfaraz took one end, Iyer played up his strokes, which included four boundaries and a six.
It was Sai Kishore who got Iyer caught by Inderjeet when the batsman looked set and so did Sarfaraz’s 117-ball guard at the end.
The left-arm spinner from Tamil Nadu then shook the West with his third scalp as left-armer Mulani was caught by a ball that turned him back into the shadows.
Hatt stopped the rot from his side during his 178-ball knock, which hit six fours and a six.
He first put on 63 runs for the seventh wicket with Atit Seth (25) before Thampi found success with the old ball.
Krishnappa Gautam (1/73 in 26 overs) then challenged Tanush Kotian to the south for 21 overs by a hat-Unadkat.
Brief Scores: West Zone 1st Innings 250/8 in 90 overs (Het Patel 96 batting, Jaydev Unadkat 39 batting, R Sai Kishore 3/80, Basil Thampi 2/42, CB Stephen 2/39) vs South Zone.
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