All-rounders Atit Sheth (102 not out, 101b, 10x4, 1x6) and Shams Mulani (97, 115b, 12x4) starred for West Zone with the bat, getting some valuable runs under their belt on the final day of the Duleep Trophy quarterfinal match against North East Zone on Sunday that ended in a draw.
The tie was virtually sealed on the third day when West took a 355-run first innings lead.
The fourth day’s play at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium was just an opportunity for the West Zone batters who did not get a chance in the first innings to spend some time in the middle. West Zone ended its second innings at 268 for five when the match was called off.
In the first session, North East bowlers were much more disciplined than they were in the first innings with pacer Dippu Sangma removing overnight batters Rahul Tripathi and Hardik Tamore.
Soon Bishworjit then castled Chirag Jani to reduce West Zone to 68 for four, a commendable effort from the debutant team. Mulani and Sheth then blunted the North East attack with a 179-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Mulani, who was dropped on 22 at the stroke of lunch, stepped up a gear in the second session as he pulled and swept Jonathan through the leg side for four quick boundaries to bring up his half-century before taking on pacer Dippu for three boundaries in one over.
The left-hander missed out on a ton when he tried to work a delivery from Bishworjit to the leg-side only to get a leading and give a simple return catch to the bowler.
At the other end, Sheth showed good backfoot game with some fine cut shots and closer to his hundred, stroked cleanly down the ground including the only six of the innings. He got to his century with a lofted shot over covers off Ankur Malik.
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