Welcome to the highlights of day 2 of the Duleep Trophy final at the SNR College Cricket Ground in Coimbatore. This was Santadeep Dey, bringing you all the updates.
SOUTH ZONE - 1ST INNINGS
South Zone 318/7 in 81 overs: Gowtham had been looking to go big for a while now. Gets the toe-end of the bat and Unadkat had all the time to settle underneath the skier. Wicket maiden for Sheth. Follows that up with another maiden over. Ravi Teja runs the only single of the last over. At Stumps, South Zone leads by 48 runs.
South Zone 302/6 in 73 overs: Atit Sheth continues to leak runs as Ravi Teja steps out and lifts the ball up for four runs through long on. Another stride down the pitch and another aerial shot by Ravi Teja for six runs in the next over. Both batters look settled now and have ticked along their side’s lead to 32 runs.
South Zone 285/6 in 70 overs: Teja guides the ball to deep covers for a single and with that run South Zone is level with West Zone’s first innings total of 270 runs. Atit Sheth sticks to the disciplined length and line and gives away just one run off his over. Gowtham clears his front foot and smashes the ball over Kotian for six runs. The very next ball, he steps out and hits another six over long off.
South Zone 269/6 in 67 overs: Kotian overpitches and Gowtham smashes the ball past the mid off fielder to get South Zone’s deficit to just 10 runs. Unadkat is given some rest after a marathon spell and Atit Sheth comes back. Sheth strays slightly towards the leg stump and Gowtham parks it over long on boundary for six runs. South Zone is just one run away from restoring parity.
South Zone 256/6 in 64 overs: The West Zone side roars in appeal, convinced that Ravi Teja got an edge off Kotian’s last delivery. The umpire, however, shakes his head and West Zone cannot believe the decision. Another appeal off Unadkat’s over but there’s daylight between the bat and ball. What a spell from Unadkat this has been. Kotian, too, follows up with another good over.
South Zone 251/6 in 61 overs: Gowtham taps the ball to mid off and runs for a single. He is able to reach his crease in time, just. Tanush Kotian remains consistent with his line and length. Unadkat bowls a jaffa to Gowtham. The ball lands on off stump line and shapes away from the batter, missing the edge by a whisker.
South Zone 243/6 in 58.2 overs: Unadkat strikes yet again for West Zone. He bowls a delivery outside off and Bhui pokes at it and ends up edging it to Jaiswal at first slip. South Zone six down and the trail is still 27 runs.
South Zone 243/5 in 58 overs: A set batsman is dismissed and the dot ball count goes up. Unadkat follows up with a maiden over. Tanush Kotian also keeps the batters on their toes from the other end. He is getting bounce and turn. Ricky Bhui is finally able to late cut an outside off delivery to third man region for two runs.
South Zone 236/5 in 54.5 overs: Baba Indrajith starts the third session with two boundaries off Jaydev Unadkat’s bowling. In the same over, the Saurashtra bowler entices the batter to play another drive but this time he lands it straight in the hands of the cover fielder. Baba Indrajith gone for 118 runs.
SZ 228/4 in 54 overs: Not the finest of sweeps but Indrajith wouldn’t mind. Four runs. Time for Tea. 141 runs have come in this session.
SZ 218/4 in 52 overs: A wicket against the run of play... Manish Pandey misses his half-century by two runs; played for the straight one, this one pitched and turned square through the gate. That would hurt. Tanush Kotian finally gets a wicket and a beautiful one at that! That’s a hundred for Indrajith. To get it in the final makes it all the more special.
SZ 202/3 in 47 overs: Two more back-to-back boundaries from Indrajith. The first a cut towards backward point, the second a ferocious pull to deep mid-wicket. WOAH! Where has that gone off to? Manish Pandey puts on his dancing kicks and tonks this out of the ground. Moments later, the 101-run partnership comes up off 121 deliveries. The 200 comes up as well.
SZ 180/3 in 44 overs: Manish Pandey is looking to break the shackles. He has always been strong against spin. Tanush Kotian’s second and third delivery post drinks have gone for boundaries. The first one was hit straight down the ground. Even though the bat turned in Manish’s hand, it hardly made any difference. The next delivery, pitched up, has been creamed through cover. There is an appeal from Tanush Kotian for caught-behind but replays show the ball had made contact with the pad before landing in the wicketkeeper’s gloves.
SZ 156/3 in 39 overs: Almost! Shams Mulani stretches to his left but misses a chance to send Indrajith back into the hut. Worse, it runs down to the rope and the 150 comes up for South Zone. Tanush Kotian isn’t happy. With the pitch having worn down a bit, Unadkat is looking to pull his length back. Time for some drinks.
SZ 133/3 in 34 overs: A thick edge off Indrajith’s blade races away to the third man fence past the slips and gully. Slog swept to glory... Manish Pandey gets a boundary off a full toss. Indrajith gets to his fifty with a single following which he wrists away a fuller delivery from Gaja to deep mid-wicket for four.
SZ 101/3 in 27 overs: Sheth picks up another wicket. Wicket-to-wicket bowling works for the pacer. Vihari (25 off 48) looks to play across the line without much footwork and is trapped plumb in front. Six from the over.
SZ 88/2 in 25 overs: Sheth bowls the first over after lunch and concedes only a single.
SZ 87/2 in 24 overs: Vihari ensures the last ball of the 24th over is the last of the session by pulling away citing some sightscreen issues. That’s experience for you. “That’ll be lunch time,” says the umpire. A combined 107 runs have come off this session; 87 of those from South Zone.
SZ 79/2 in 20 overs: Sheth messes up his release and Vihari wastes no time in cutting this away to backward point. In the 20th over, Indrajith slams two boundaries off Kotian. The first one has been steered through cover, while the next one has been pulled away through mid-wicket.
SZ 56/2 in 15 overs: Unadkat comes in round the wicket for the right-handed Kunnummal and removes him off the very first ball after drinks. Angles it into him, the delivery holds its line after pitching and the outside edge carries to the ‘keeper. Wonderful fielding from Sarfaraz at backward square leg, the whole team cheers for him... Kunnummal’s wicket seems to have charged them up. Vihari and Indrajith hit three boundaries to ease the pressure. Almost a brilliant caught-and-bowled... Unadkat didn’t seem to be too sure, soft signal was not out. And replays do suggest he had grassed it. Indrajith survives a close call.
SZ 40/1 in 12 overs: Through cover, goes Kunnummal. He follows that up with another handsome pull for four... transfers weight onto the backfoot, plays at it with hard hands and holds his pose as the ball goes out of sight for the shutterbugs. TIme for some drinks.
SZ 30/1 in 10 overs: A confident appeal from the bowling team but the umpire Navdeep Singh Sidhu doesn’t seem too interested. There was a bit of noise but that might have been of that of the spikes being dragged along on the track. There is no DRS. Kunnummal also turned back to check if the ‘keeper had pouched it; may have been a sign of guilt. Four! Short and wide again from Gaja and Kunnummal’s one-armed Pantesque slash sees the ball disappear. He gets a boundary in each of the next three overs as well to maintain the impressive scoring rate. Gone! Mayank departs immediately after scoring his first four of the day. Edged to Yashasvi in slip. Skipper Vihari is in.
SZ 11/0 in 6 overs: The second, fourth and fifth over are maidens. Only two comes off the third. The batters are looking to be in no hurry at all. A few spectators, lounging underneath the huge tree, break their silence to cheer for Kunnummal as he gets on top of the bounce to smack Gaja for four in the sixth over.
SZ 5/0 in 1 over: Kunnummal gets things rolling for South Zone with a boundary off the very first ball. He is facing Saurashtra and now West Zone’s left-arm pacer Unadkat. There is a hint of swing. Mayank is at the non-striker’s end.
WEST ZONE - 1ST INNINGS
WZ 270 in 96.3 overs: Mayank makes a mess of a sitter. Probably had the glare in his eye. The error, however, is inexcusable as he had his shades stuck to the back of his floppy! Unadkat survives. Mayank has been saved the blushes, though, as Sai Kishore has picked up yet another fifer (5/86); his fifth in First-Class cricket. Gaja was lured into playing the big shot with a delivery pitched wide outside off. Stephen, at backward point, takes a fine catch to mark the end of West Zone’s first innings.
WZ 268/9 in 95 overs: Stephen to apply pressure from the other end. Unadkat and Het keep the scoreboard ticking with singles. Thampi is off the field; the reason, however, isn’t clear. Het perishes on 98! It is Sai Kishore’s fourth wicket of the innings. In hindsight, Het should have looked to score his hundred yesterday itself. He misjudges the length - it was marginally short, there was a bit of added bounce as well - and goes for the pull only to end up top-edging it to a back-pedalling Mayank at first slip. Gaja comes to the crease. He steps out and muscles the ball through mid-wicket for four off the eighth delivery he faces.
WZ 250/8 in 91 overs: Sai Kishore to open the bowling today. There is a very strong offside field for Het, who is four away from a century. There is a slip, gully and backward point. Also, there is a short extra cover at catching position. The left-arm spinner beats the outside edge on a couple of occasions.
WEST ZONE vs SOUTH ZONE PLAYING XI
WZ XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Priyank Panchal, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Shreyas Iyer, Sarfaraz Khan, Atit Sheth, Shams Mulani, Het Patel (wk), Tanush Kotian, Jaydev Unadkat, Chintan Gaja
SZ XI: Rohan Kunnummal, Mayank Agarwal, Baba Indrajith, Hanuma Vihari (c), Manish Pandey, Ricky Bhui (wk), Krishnappa Gowtham, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Basil Thampi, Telukupalli Ravi Teja, Cheepurapalli Stephen
DULEEP TROPHY FINAL, DAY 1 REPORT
Het Patel (96 batting, 178b, 6x4, 1x6) and Jaydev Unadkat (39 batting, 64b, 3x4) denied South Zone for 21 overs with an unbeaten 83-run stand in the final session and helped West Zone to a fighting 250 for eight on the first day of the Duleep Trophy final at the SNR College Cricket Ground in Coimbatore on Wednesday.
Just four runs shy of his third First-Class hundred, Het reaped the benefits of a judicious mix of patience and intent. Coming in at 64 for four, Het rode out the initial nervy outside edges with four fielders – two slips, a gully and a silly point – on the prowl.
Het stamped his class halfway into the second session with two fours down the ground off the pacers. The second one – an effortless on-drive facilitated by a high backlift – stood out. The 23-year-old diligently pinched the ones and twos on both sides of the wicket and struck a 108-ball fifty by Tea.
Despite losing two wickets early in the final session, an undeterred Het saw off the day with Unadkat lending ample support and to add to South’s frustration, showed his range with a stand-and-deliver six over long-on and a pull to midwicket for four.
Earlier, West Zone skipper Ajinkya Rahane elected to bat on a surface that prompted South Zone to add a pacer to its attack – VC Stephen – and one that was always going to help seamers. Soon, he found his team tottering at 16 for three inside the first six overs in the absence of flamboyant opener Prithvi Shaw.
Yashasvi Jaiswal was dismissed for a third consecutive single-digit score as he got a faint inside edge to the keeper playing away from the body to a Stephen delivery that nipped in sharply from a hard length. From the other end, Basil Thampi was rewarded when Rahane got a leading edge to cover, where Ravi Teja held on to an overhead stunner. And in no time, the top three were back in the hut when Stephen, with his unerring length, angled the ball in from over the wicket to trap Priyank Panchal.
West Zone’s exciting additions to its squad for the final – Shreyas Iyer and Sarfaraz Khan – staged a fightback with a 48-run partnership. Iyer’s struggle against the short ball is perhaps Indian cricket’s worst kept secret and Stephen and Thampi were no strangers to it. Stephen greeted him with a bouncer and Thampi, coming around the wicket, stationed a short-leg straightaway in the following over.
However, Stephen released the pressure by erring too full and Iyer drove down the ground and flicked over midwicket for two fours in the over. With his tail up, Iyer lofted R. Sai Kishore for a six over cover when the spinner was introduced in the 11 th over. After another four off Kishore with a front-foot drive through the covers, Iyer had raced to 25 off 24 balls.
However, Thampi, bowling the 20 th over, sent a telling reminder that Iyer had not banished his demons. Two menacing bouncers, a miscued pull and a rap on the gloves in front of the helmet later, Iyer only found shelter with a single behind point. Meanwhile, he seemed to have settled into a rhythm against spin until Kishore dragged his length back, turned the ball away wide outside off and lured him into a chip to the cover fielder. Sarfaraz, who had shown uncharacteristic restraint against Kishore and off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham, would have been pleased with his 10 off 75 at the other end.
Sarfaraz shifted gears early into the second session, laying into Gowtham with a six and four off consecutive deliveries. However, his belligerence was short-lived as he top-edged a sweep to short fine-leg off Kishore after fetching a boundary behind square with the same shot.
With Sarfaraz gone, Het held fort to ensure South Zone didn’t have much to rejoice thereafter.
- Dhruva Prasad
Here is the Wednesday with W.V.’s episode where W. V. Raman 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.