Pacers ran riot on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy semifinal between South Zone and North Zone here on Wednesday.
Helped by overcast skies, fast bowlers accounted for 12 of the 14 wickets that fell. The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch offered some movement and bounce, capitalised to the full by South’s Vidwath Kaverappa (five for 28). The Karnataka cricketer picked up his third First-Class five-for, as South bundled North out for 198.
North relished bowling in the final session, cutting through the top-order in quick time. Baltej Singh and Harshit Rana took two wickets each to reduce South to 63 for four.
Kaverappa was brilliant with the new ball, keeping the batters guessing by keeping a tight off-stump line. He landed the outswingers perfectly, forcing Dhruv Shorey and Ankit Kalsi to fish and edge.
Andhra seamer K.V. Sasikanth failed to maintain a good length, but managed to scalp Prabhsimran Singh (49, 52b, 6x4, 1x6). Prabhsimran scooped a loose drive to cover, where B. Sai Sudharsan grabbed a sharp catch.
Kaverappa returned to the attack to clean up Jayant Yadav, Pulkit Narang and Baltej.
The 24-year-old Kaverappa follows a simple plan to get the results. “On any pitch, if you hit the top of off-stump line, every batsman in the world will find it difficult,” Kaverappa said.
South’s reply started in disastrous fashion. Sudharsan, the best young talent in the team, checked his shot to offer a catch to Jayant at mid-on. The dependable R. Samarth stuck his bat well away from the body to give Baltej his second wicket.
Skipper Hanuma Vihari dragged a short ball from Harshit Rana onto the stumps. The very next delivery, Ricky Bhui was trapped on the pads by an indipper.
Mayank Agarwal (37 batting) and Tilak Varma (12 batting) avoided further damage.
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