North Zone ruthlessly drove North East Zone to the ground on the penultimate day of their Duleep Trophy quarterfinal at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday.
North came out firing in the morning session to dismiss North East Zone for 134. Despite sitting on a mammoth 406-run inning lead, North decided not to enforce the follow-on.
With a spot in the semifinal guaranteed, North had no intention of forcing an early outright win. It was the perfect platform for the batters to pile on the runs and reach personal milestones, against a demoralised North East unit.
Ankit Kumar (70), Prabhsimran Singh (59), Jayant Yadav (55 n.o.) and Ankit Kalsi (49) made merry in the afternoon session, swelling North’s already sizeable advantage. Ankit had the chance to score a century, but once he was dismissed one over after Tea, the declaration came.
This left North East with an unattainable target of 666.
Skipper Jayant, out for a duck in the first essay, stated that it was important for him to get among the runs. “At the start of the season, it is important to get some time at the crease. Our next match (semifinals) will be against South Zone, so it great to score a fifty here,” Jayant said.
Despite a dull day, there was a moment of celebration for North East, when seamer Jotin Pheiroijam delivered a peach to dismiss first-innings centurion Dhruv Shorey. The 17-year-old Pheiroijam landed one on middle and leg and got the ball to move sharply to take out off-stump.
The drained North East top-order melted in the second innings. Opener Joseph Lalthankhuma (7) guided a short ball from Baltej to point, and his partner Kishan Lyndoh (14) flashed hard at a harmless loosener from Harshit Rana to the wicketkeeper.
Just before close of play, slip fielder Prashant Chopra caught Langlonyamba Meitan napping, throwing down the stumps when the batter wandered out of the crease.
The one-sided affair is heading for a quick finish on Saturday.
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