Duleep Trophy: West Zone big guns fail to fire as Central in control

Alur, Jul 5 (PTI) Central Zone bowlers led by captain Shivam Mavi (4/43) silenced the big guns in the West Zone batting line-up to restrict them to 216 for 8 and take control of the proceedings on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy semifinal here on Wednesday.

The lone point of resistance for West came from Atit Sheth who made a composed 74 off 129 balls.

West Zone entered the match as overwhelming favourites, courtesy the presence of Cheteshwar Pujara, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw and Sarfaraz Khan in their line-up.

It also might have been a reason for West to elect batting after winning the toss despite the largely overcast conditions at the KSCA Oval. But none of them fired as West would have desired.

Shaw and captain Priyank Panchal started on a confident note, and they had the assistance of fortune as well. Shaw was given a life on 16 when Vivek Singh dropped him at first slip off pacer Yash Thakur.

However, left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar, who bagged eight wickets in the quarterfinals against East Zone, jettisoned Shaw.

The Mumbaikar’s punch was grabbed at silly point by Dhruv Jorel after a short juggle, and Shaw had to depart rather unwillingly.

The dismissal opened the flood gate as West lost wickets at regular intervals. Suryakumar was also given a reprieve on 7 as Vivek dropped his second catch of the match, this time off Shivam Mavi.

But Suryakumar was unable to exploit the opportunity as a swat away from the body off the very next ball ended in the hands of Jorel at slips.

Sarfaraz came to this match riding on a mountain of runs that he had scored over the last three domestic seasons. But on this day, all he could do was last for a 12-ball nought, dragging a Mavi delivery back onto his stumps.

Pujara made a 102-ball 28 and looked set for a long haul. However, Mavi returned to oust the seasoned batter as West slipped to 110 for 6 in the 49th over. His expansive shot did not go past Amandeep Khare at wide first slip.

The only jarring note during this phase of absolute domination for Central was the collision involving Avesh Khan and Rinku Singh, who went after a skier played by Sheth.

Avesh did not bowl for the rest of the day and Rinku too had limited participation in the match thereafter.

The absence of Avesh might have reduced the fire power of Central’s bowling and Sheth exploited it in the company of Dharmendra Jadeja.

The seventh wicket alliance was resolute while milking 73 runs to keep the persistent Central bowlers at bay for nearly 25 overs. The stubborn stand came to an end when Jadeja was evicted by Saransh Jain.

Mavi soon induced an edge from Sheth that was gobbled up by Jurel at the slip cordon as Central stamped their footprint on the day.

Source: PTI News


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