Duleep Trophy final, Day 1 HIGHLIGHTS: Patel’s unbeaten 96 takes West Zone to 250/8

Duleep Trophy final, Indian domestic cricket: Catch the live score, updates, highlights and commentary from Day 1 of West Zone vs South Zone.

What they are all playing for!

What they are all playing for! | Photo Credit: M. Periasamy

Duleep Trophy final, Indian domestic cricket: Catch the live score, updates, highlights and commentary from Day 1 of West Zone vs South Zone.

Welcome to Highlights from Sportstar’s coverage of the Duleep Trophy final in SNR College Cricket Ground in Coimbatore. This was Abhishek Saini and Santadeep Dey, bringing you all the updates.

Patel gets a standing ovation for his knock today and he deserves every bit of it. West Zone had a poor start to its innings with three wickets falling for just 16 runs inside the first six overs. Shreyas Iyer built a partnership with Sarfaraz but was outdone by the skill and planning of Sai Kishore. Sarfaraz continued batting with Patel until Sai Kishore yet again broke a crucial partnership. Some defensive field settings and tired bowling in the last session allowed Patel to stitch up partnerships with Atit Sheth and Unadkat to get his side to 250 runs at the end of Day 1. A commendable effort considering the team was 101/6 at one point. Vihari & Co. missed a few tricks on Day 1 but will walk out tomorrow to utilise the new ball, just 5 overs old, and get the remaining two wickets as early as possible.

LIVE COMMENTARY

Stumps, Day 1 - West Zone 250/8 in 90 overs: Stephen, who takes the new ball from the other end, bowls a short ball to Patel which is beautifully pulled away to gather four runs. Thampi is replaced after just one over with the new ball. Gowtham leaks runs and concedes 10 runs off the over. Sai Kishore also returns and Unadkat greets him with a sweep shot that goes for four runs. Another boundary comes off the penultimate over of the day. Ravi Teja bowls the last over and gives away three runs. Patel gets strike to bring up his hundred but plays safe and remains unbeaten on 96. Unadkat to continue tomorrow on

West Zone 222/8 in 86 overs: The second new ball is finally out in the 85th over, and Basil Thampi comes on to bowl. Unadkat throws his hands at an outside-off delivery only to get an inside edge. The ball misses the stumps and goes for a boundary. The next ball comes back in but hits the back leg too high to convince the umpire to raise his finger. An eventful over.

West Zone 217/8 in 84 overs: The batsmen are making use of the defensive field placement and chipping away singles. Sai Kishore beats Unadkat’s edge by a whisker in the 83rd over but is unable to get the breakthrough. Spin continues from both ends and fielders in the deep provide chances for West Zone batters to bank on their running between the wickets. Six runs come from Sai Kishore’s over.

West Zone 208/8 in 81 overs: The pitch has suddenly started throwing turn. Sai Kishore bowls some unplayable deliveries to Patel as the batsman can only watch the ball go past his bat. The second new ball is also available but Vihari persists with Sai Kishore. Unadkat, this time, seems comfortable and even sweeps a fuller delivery for a couple.

West Zone 200/8 in 78 overs: Unadkat and Patel are stitching together a handy partnership. The ball is turning a bit but the pair has navigated safely to bring up 200 runs for West Zone.

West Zone 195/8 in 75 overs: Stephen is brought back into the attack and Het Patel smashes the ball over long on boundary to take West Zone’s total to 187 runs. He follows that up with a straight drive. A good fielding effort by Thampi only yields one run though. Unadkat then edges off Sai Kishore and completes two runs.

West Zone 167/8: Krishnappa Gowtham picks the eighth wicket and Tanush Kotian has to return after just five balls on the crease.

West Zone 164/7 in 68 overs: Loud appeals in the first over after tea as the ball pops up and goes into the hands of the leg slip fielder. But, it came off Patel’s thigh pad and had no bat. In the next over, Basil Thampi goes for the body line. Sheth indulges and glances straight into the hands of leg slip. Partnership broken and West Zone is seven down.

TEA, Day 1 - West Zone 163/6 in 66 overs: Vihari has decided to place three fielders in the deep which is allowing the West Zone batters to capture easy singles and keep the scorecard ticking. Sheth again dispatches a short ball towards the mid wicket fence but a slow outfield only allows for three runs. Sai Kishore again loses his line and strays on the pads and Patel flicks the ball to fine leg and takes two to bring up his fifty.

West Zone 155/6 in 63 overs: Atit Sheth is able to defend without trouble at the fourth stump line that Gowtham has been sticking to lately. Sai Kishore strays short and Sheth pulls the ball to the mid wicket boundary. Patel then cuts another short delivery, in the same over, past the cover point region and collects four runs. This also brings up the 50-run stand. South Zone has placed a sweeper in position to save the boundary.

West Zone 143/6 in 60 overs: Het Patel looks comfortable against Ravi Teja and Sai Kishore as the pitch seems to have died down in the afternoon session. Sheth has also lend support from the other end and has not played a false shot in his 44-ball innings so far. The partnership now at 42 runs.

West Zone 132/6 in 56 overs: Het Patel continues to impress with the bat. He has Sheth for company. Another partnership is slowly starting to build. It is worth 31 runs.

West Zone 118/6: Bowling change for South Zone as Basil Thampi is brought back. Sheth drives him through covers for two runs and is greeted with a bouncer the very next ball. Het Patel glances a ball and Manish Pandey is waiting at leg slip but he attempts the take with one hand and drops the catch.

West Zone 111/6 in 49 overs: The onus is now on Het Patel to get his team to a respectable total. He plays a Gowtham delivery anticipating spin but the ball remains straight and gets an outside edge but lands safe and gets him two runs. In the next over, Patel takes the aerial route over covers and gets another couple. The wicket-keeper batsman is playing on 21 off 60 deliveries.

West Zone 101/6 in 45 overs: Gowtham is brought back seeing the new left-handed batsman Shams Mulani. But it is Sai Kishore who gets Mulani. Mulani takes a big stride down but misses the line of the delivery. The ball pitches in line and goes thudding into the pad as West Zone loses sixth wicket.

West Zone 99/5 in 43 over: Sai Kishore continues from one end and the West Zone batting pair remains dogged and cautious in approach. Patel plays a sublime straight drive off an overpitched delivery by Stephen in the next over, taking his individual total to double digits. Next up, Sarfaraz hits a sweep shot off Sai Kishore to collect four runs before hitting a top edge straight to short into the hands of the fine leg fielder while attempting another sweep.

West Zone 87/4 in 40 overs: First sign of aggression from Sarfaraz Khan. He hits a six and a four off the first two deliveries of Gowtham’s over. Seeing how the two West Zone batters fared against spin in this session, Vihari goes back to the pace of Stephen. His very first delivery, he manages to move the ball back in to the right-handed Sarfaraz but an inside edge saves the Mumbai batter from an LBW. Sarfaraz is able to see the remainder of the over.

West Zone 74/4 in 37 overs: Given the turn seen off the pitch, Vihari has decided to persist with his spin duo of Sai Kishore and Gowtham. The West Zone batters have looked confident in the early overs here and have presented a full face of the bat. They’ve defended well and and nudged the ball for a couple of singles.

And the players are back in the middle for the second session of the day. Krishnappa Gowtham to start the proceedings for South Zone.

LUNCH - WZ 72/4 in 35 overs: The ball’s turning square on day one. That’s not a good sign for the batting team... the likes of Sai Kishore and Gowtham will be expected to feast on the batters as the game progresses. Kunnummal drops Sarfaraz on 12. Was a very difficult opportunity at short leg... saved two runs though. Sai Kishore squeezes in a maiden over before Lunch. A bit of scare for Het before the session break; the last ball fell just short of Manish Pandey at slip.

WZ 65/4 in 30 overs:Shreyas holes out to Indrajith to the right of cover! The TN star takes a brilliant catch to see the back of Shreyas, who was looking good. The softest of dismissals, this as Sai Kishore breaks the partnership. Het Patel saunters in.

WZ 62/3 in 26 overs: The bouncers have started to look harmless now. There is hardly any purchase off the track; it is a bit on the slower side. Additionally, a Kookaburra ball is being used here. The South Zone need to look for a different strategy. And as I type, Krishnappa Gowtham replaces Basil Thampi. Remains to be seen if he gets the same amount of turn as Sai Kishore.

WZ 56/3 in 22 overs: Shreyas isn’t looking to risk his wicket, while trying to target the short balls. He is conveniently letting those fly past. Another maiden over from Thampi, the last delivery threateningly sails past Sarfaraz’s off stump. The Mumbaikar’s exhibition of patience continues - 6 off 53 balls.

WZ 53/3 in 18 overs: Sai Kishore’s fuller, tossed up delivery has been creamed through cover. It is Shreyas again, who takes the attack to the bowling team. Sarfaraz has done well to hold the other end in the meantime. Drinks have been called for with 48/3 on the board in 16 overs. And all of a sudden Sai Kishore seems to be getting some turn off the surface after the break. The 50’s up for West Zone. Slowly but steadily, Shreyas and Sarfaraz are building a partnership.

WZ 42/3 in 12 overs: Another boundary for Shreyas... drills it through cover this time. Sarfaraz hits the last delivery of the 10th over for four through backward point. Six! The first maximum of the game comes off the bat of Shreyas. Sai Kishore bowls a flighted delivery, Shreyas gets to the pitch of the ball and tonks it over extra cover.

WZ 25/3 in 8 overs: There’s a hint of late swing from Stephen but the ball lands in line and thuds into Panchal’s pads. There’s no DRS but this would have definitely gone on to hit timber. There’s no two ways about it and the umpire raises his finger as well. Sarfaraz is in. Did Rahane make the wrong call at the toss? Kunnummal, at short leg, dives to his right but the ball flies wide. Almost another wicket as Shreyas has been irked by the short ball again. Played with softer hands. Boundary... Shreyas steps out and whacks the length ball straight down the ground. Shreyas goes over midwicket now, a wristy lofted shot that trickles down to the fence.

WZ 10/2 in 5 overs: Rahane’s left guessing as Stephen hits the hard length and gets the ball to move away from the West Zone skipper. SHort and wide from Thampi and he has been punished by Rahane, who slashes hard. Not the cleanest of strikes but it races away to the fence. First boundary of the match. Rahane’s gone! Abruptly closes the face of the bat, gets the leading edge which lobs over to a leaping Ravi Teja at short mid-off. A short leg in place for the new man in, Shreyas Iyer.

WZ 1/1 in 2 overs: Caught behind! Short of a length delivery from CV Stephen that seams back in to find the inside edge of Jaiswal. The left-handed batter is in utter disbelief. There’s no DRS but replays suggest there had been some contact between bat and ball.

WZ 1/0 in 1 over: There’s quite a bit of bounce and the ball’s seaming away from Yashasvi Jaiswal. Three slips and a gully in place for Priyank Panchal as well. Basil Thampi has really got things rolling for South Zone.

WHAT THEY SAID

We wanted to bowl. If we can use the moisture and take early wickets, we’ll be ahead. The tracks have been flat. One change. Stephen comes in.

—  Hanuma Vihari

South Zone skipper

We’ll look to bat. We know how the wicket will behave as we played the last game here. There’s grass cover here and a little bit of moisture. I am happy the full domestic season is back again. Three changes for us (Jaffer, Prithvi and Tripathi out).

—  Ajinkya Rahane

West Zone captain

PLAYING XI

West Zone: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Priyank Panchal, Ajinkya Rahane(c), Shreyas Iyer, Sarfaraz Khan, Atit Sheth, Shams Mulani, Het Patel(w), Tanush Kotian, Jaydev Unadkat, Chintan Gaja

South Zone: Rohan Kunnummal, Mayank Agarwal, Baba Indrajith, Hanuma Vihari(c), Manish Pandey, Ricky Bhui(w), Krishnappa Gowtham, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Basil Thampi, Telukupalli Ravi Teja, Cheepurapalli Stephen

TOSS

West Zone elects to bat

PITCH REPORT

The pitch looks good. Not much moisture. It is firm. There’s an even covering of grass. The colour of grass isn’t too green.

WEST ZONE VS SOUTH ZONE SQUADS
West Zone: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Prithvi Shaw, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Tamore, Shams Mulani, Tanush Kotian, Rahul Tripathi, Satyajeet Bachhav, Het Patel, Chintan Gaja, Jaydev Unadkat, Chirag Jani, Atit Sheth, Armaan Jaffer, Chetan Sakariya, Sarfaraz Khan
South Zone: Hanuma Vihari (c), Mayank Agarwal (vc), Rohan Kunnummal, Manish Pandey, Devdutt Padikal, B Indrajith, Eknath Kelkar, Ricky Bhui, R Sai Kishore, K Gowtham, Basil Thampi, T Ravi Teja, V.C. Stephen, Tanay Thyagarajan, Lakshay Garg

MATCH PREVIEW

In a fitting finale to the Duleep Trophy,  which kickstarts India’s domestic cricket season, 18-time champion West Zone will take on 13-time winner South Zone at the SNR College Cricket Ground in Coimbatore from Wednesday.

While West Zone will be familiar with the conditions, having beaten defending champion Central Zone by 279 runs in the semifinal at the same venue, South Zone will have momentum on its side as it rides the crest of a 645-run drubbing of North Zone – the second-highest margin of victory by runs in Indian First-Class cricket.

“The team has done well in the last match but final is a fresh start. We have not played in this venue before. We want to assess the conditions quickly. We are playing against a good side,” South Zone skipper Hanuma Vihari  said on Tuesday.

With the addition of Shreyas Iyer, Sarfaraz Khan and Priyank Panchal to the squad ahead of the final, West Zone will hope to tide over the absence of Prithvi Shaw – Player-of-the-Match in the semifinal – and Rahul Tripathi, who were selected for the India A one-day series against New Zealand A.

Panchal – who led India A in the three unofficial Tests against the Kiwis – is likely to open alongside Yashasvi Jaiswal while Shreyas and Sarfaraz will strengthen the middle-order. All three additions to the squad had a few hits in the nets on Tuesday.

“It strengthens our side. Rahul and Prithvi did well for us in the first two games. Sarfaraz has been a prolific run-scorer for Mumbai. Priyank is a prolific run-scorer in domestic cricket.

Shreyas, we know, he has been doing really well in white-ball cricket and Test matches. Really happy to have all of them,” West Zone captain Ajinkya Rahane  said ahead of the match.

The skipper himself will be keen to find consistency.

After scoring an unbeaten double-hundred against Northeast Zone in the quarterfinal, Rahane had a lean outing against Central Zone, registering scores of 8 and 12 and getting dismissed in similar fashion on both occasions – leaving the ball outside off-stump.

Meanwhile, South Zone is unlikely to tinker with its batting after its batters put up scores of 630 and 316 in the two innings of the semifinals.

The Vihari-led side will hope for Kerala prodigy Rohan Kunnummal to continue his rich vein of form and India international Mayank Agarwal to convert the starts into big scores at the top of the order.

The middle-order also looks settled for South, with Vihari, Ravi Teja and Ricky Bhui notching up hundreds against North. While Devdutt Padikkal – who was not picked in the for the semifinal – had an extensive net session on Tuesday, it is doubtful he’ll make it to the playing XI.

Shams Mulani and R Sai Kishore will shoulder the spin-bowling responsibilities for their teams. Mulani picked a fifer and scored valuable runs lower down the order for West Zone in the semifinal while Kishore registered career-best figures 10 for 98 to skittle North Zone.

Both left-arm spinners will relish bowling to line-ups packed with right-handers.

Tanush Kotian and Krishnappa Gowtham scalped key wickets and were more than decent with the bat in the semis, and will lend much-needed flexibility and depth on a pitch that could see sides lose early wickets.

West Zone quicks Chetan Sakariya and Chirag Jani rolled their arm over in the nets on the eve of the match and Chintan Gaja or Atit Sheth could make way for one of them, with veteran pacer Jaydev Unadkat leading the attack.

There was a hint of green on the pitch for the pacers to exploit and South Zone could pick CV Stephen alongside Basil Thampi – who was the lone specialist fast-bowler against North Zone.

The wicket for the semifinal in Coimbatore was sporting, with appreciable bounce, movement, turn and value for positive stroke-play and expect no less in what should be an even contest between bat and ball.

- Dhruva Prasad

Here is Wednesday with W.V.’s latest episode where he talks about India’s domestic cricket season:

WHERE TO WATCH DULEEP TROPHY 2022-23 FINAL LIVE?

The Duleep Trophy final between West Zone and South Zone will be broadcast by the Star Sports Network from 9:30 AM IST on September 21. The match will also be live streamed on Disney+ Hotstar app.

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