Vaibhav Arora and Jayant Yadav triggered a collapse to give North Zone a narrow three-run first-innings lead over South Zone on the second day of their Duleep Trophy semifinal here on Thursday.
North’s 198 seemed gettable when the home team was cruising at 145 for four. Mayank Agarwal and Tilak Varma had settled in nicely, picking off boundaries regularly.
The big wicket of Mayank (76, 115b, 10x4), taken by offspinner Jayant, gave North a spring in the step. Seamer Vaibhav and Jayant then dismissed three batters - Washington Sundar, Tilak Varma and K.V. Sasikanth - in the space of two overs to leave South at 165 for eight.
Follow Live: Duleep Trophy 2023 Semifinals Day 3 Blog
Vaibhav was a constant threat, shaping the ball away from left-handers.
It was left to Sai Kishore to push South forward. Kishore looked up to the task, stepping out to Jayant and lofting over extra cover for six.
The last wicket partnership between Kishore and Vidwath Kaverappa provided a tense finish to the South essay. At 191 for nine, North wicketkeeper Prabhsimran Singh gave away four byes. North skipper Jayant was displeased, but Prabhsimran made up for the error by stumping Kishore in the same over.
Overall, Prabhsimran impressed behind the stumps. The Punjab cricketer showed a clean technique when he stood up to the pacers to counter Mayank moving down the track.
Vaibhav and Jayant finished with three wickets each.
Prashant Chopra and Ankit Kalsi looked fluent in North’s second essay, until Prashant’s stumps were rattled by a perfect inswinger from Kaverappa. North ended the day on 51 for two, with a lead of 54 runs.
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