South Zone dominates, but Het, Unadkat help West fight back

South Zone dominates, but Het, Unadkat help West fight back

In-form left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore (3/80 off 32 overs) first choked and then ran through the middle-order, before the lower-order resistance somewhat brought West Zone back into the match.

COIMBATORE: West Zone’s batting stars, including skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer, flattered to deceive as South Zone restricted them to 250 for eight on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy final here on Wednesday.

Gujarat wicketkeeper Het Patel’s (96 batting off 178 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) fighting knock and his 83-run stand with Saurashtra veteran Jaydev Unadkat (39 batting off 64 balls, 3 fours) for the unbroken ninth wicket helped West Zone recover from a precarious 167 for eight.

But, Rahane (8), Shreyas (37), Sarfaraz Khan (34), Yashasvi Jaiswal (1) and Priyank Panchal (7) could not make much of an impact. For South Zone, pacers CV Stephen (2/39 off 10 overs) and Basil Thampi (2/42 off 15 overs) blew away the West Zone top-order within the first half-an-hour.

In-form left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore (3/80 off 32 overs) first choked and then ran through the middle-order, before the lower-order resistance somewhat brought West Zone back into the match. In the morning, South Zone captain Hanuma Vihari won the toss and wanted to first make the most of whatever little help the conditions offered.

Andhra left-arm pacer Stephen answered his captain’s call as opener Jaiswal was left poking outside the off-stump and caught by wicketkeeper Ricky Bhui. No.3 Rahane started with a boundary, but T Ravi Teja snapped one in the slip cordon when Kerala speedster Thampi got the India international to edge behind the stumps.

For Panchal, Stephen’s delivery straightened a touch after pitching and had the India ‘A’ captain plumb in front of the stumps. After West Zone was reduced to just 16 for three, the Mumbai pairing of Shreyas and Sarfaraz came together and looked like resurrecting the innings with a 48-run stand.

But, Tamil Nadu spinner Sai Kishore had Shreyas caught by Baba Indrajith just when the batter looked set. He then dismissed Sarfaraz in an identical manner to end the 117-ball vigil. Sai Kishore later rocked West Zone with his third scalp as Shams Mulani (0) was trapped by a delivery that turned back a shade into him.

Het, on his part, stemmed the rot during his 178-ball stay. He first added 63 runs for the seventh wicket with Atit Seth (25), before Thampi got a breakthrough. Off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham (1/73) then removed Tanush Kotian (2), but the Het-Unadkat combination defied South Zone for 21 overs.

BRIEF SCORES: Final: West Zone 250/8 in 90 overs (Het 96*, J Unadkat 39*, R Sai Kishore 3/80, CV Stephen 2/39, Basil Thampi 2/42) vs South Zone

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