With 63 for 4, South Zone is 135 runs behind North Zone 198 (Prabhsimran 49, Ankit 33, Sindhu 27, Kaverappa 5-28) (Agarwal 37*, Tilak 12*, Rana 2-19).
An intense day at the Chinnaswamy Stadium saw as many as 14 wickets fall, with South Zone appearing to have won until they fell late in the day to tie the score.
The Karnataka fast bowler Vidwath Kaverappa claimed his third five-for as North Zone was dismissed for 198. None of the other North batters were successful against strong opposition, except Prabhsimran Singh, who led the team with 49 runs.
Baltej Singh took out B. As North retaliated, Sai Sudharsan and R Samarth struck quickly after each other. Hanuma Vihari, the captain of South Africa, stepped out to take strike as stumps approached but only lasted four deliveries before being dismissed by Harshit Rana. Ricky Bhui went out after the ensuing ball, continuing the slump. South finished with 63 for 4.
Earlier, when North fell to 18 for 3 before the first hour, South’s decision to bowl appeared to pay dividends. The only time they seemed to have some control over the situation was during a 79-run partnership between Prabhsimran and Ankit Kumar, which stabilized the innings. Ankit’s firing highlighted a weak lower middle order once more.
Washington Sundar, who finished with 1 for 44, made his return to first-class cricket in this game. Playing in his first red-ball match in six months, Sundar, who has been playing mostly white-ball matches in the TNPL since his hamstring injury prevented him from participating in the IPL, managed to get rid of Rana, who scored a carefree 31 at No. 9 to support the batting. Those runs may still come in very helpful as North attempts a comeback against what appears to be a potent batting order.
West Zone 216 for 8 against Central Zone (Sheth 74, Jadeja 39, Pujara 28, Mavi 4-43).
After West Zone’s star-studded top order crumbled in Alur against a methodical Central Zone attack, Atit Sheth’s 74, an innings of hard work and flamboyance in equal measure, saved West Zone on the first day of the Duleep Trophy semi-final.
Sheth, an all-rounder for Baroda, entered the batting shortly after lunch when the score was 65 for 5. He quickly revived the innings, first with Cheteshwar Pujara and then with Dharmendrasinh Jadeja. Together with Pujara, who persevered for two hours in his signature style before cutting a short ball to the slips on 28, they contributed 45 runs.
When Sheth and Jadeja tallied 73 runs in less than two hours, West was able to regroup and keep the scoreboard going. Sheth struck nine fours and a six in 129 deliveries throughout his knock, playing some fluid drives.
Kaverappa’s footwork against spin was quite impressive and easy on the eye. A sign of his confidence was the way he countered Saurabh Kumar, who had just scored a career-high 8 for 64 in the quarterfinal last week. To demonstrate his full range of shots, he rarely played against the turn, arrived early on the pitch, and picked distances.
Jadeja was unpredictable, frequently sweeping against the turn but successfully doing so to temporarily put the bowlers off their game after tea. When offspinner Saransh Jain had him jabbing too foolish mid-off, the partnership came to an end.
West was daring to choose to bat first in the morning’s cloudy conditions. Shivam Mavi and Avesh Khan, Central’s pace team, kept Prithvi Shaw and Priyank Panchal on their toes. Shaw, who is known for starting quickly, controlled himself and didn’t score until after the first hour. Before being returned for 26 after a recent catch, he appeared stable for the majority of his time at the crease.
The ball got jammed between Dhruv Jurel’s pads as he attempted to take cover after Shaw smacked Saurabh straight to a silly point. He persisted long enough to end a 43-run stand in some way. After exactly an over Yash Thakur struck Panchal square in the front with a delivery to cause him to be out LBW.
When Suryakumar Yadav entered, he started playing a charming movie to get going, but his luck ran out quickly. He was out chasing a wide pitch off the very next delivery after being given a reprieve in the slips, giving Mavi a second wicket and bringing West to 56 for 3. Next was Sarfaraz Khan. He was out cutting on a lifter from Mavi after 11 hesitant deliveries.
for lunch, Avesh Khan questioned Het Patel for choosing him over Harvik Desai as the starting wicketkeeper. He was given two balls to bat before getting bowled neck-and-crop for playing down the incorrect line after being spared by a no-ball off which he drove weakly to the slips. Avesh played down the wrong line as he was bowled due to the hard length and late inward movement.
From that point on, West was certain to surpass 200 thanks to Sheth’s rescue. Sheth profited from a few reverse sweeps late in the day before becoming Mavi’s fourth victim as a result of Central’s bowlers temporarily losing their strategy against him.
Avesh spent the majority of the second and third sessions off the field as a precaution following an on-field collision with Rinku Singh while attempting a catch, which left Mavi and Thakur with the bulk of Central’s fast bowling burden.