Baba Indrajith’s scintillating hundred and Krishnappa Gowtham’s 43rd rear guard took South Zone past West Zone’s first-inning total on an interesting second day of the Duleep Trophy final. Indrajith’s 118 from 125 balls, along with contributions from Manish Pandey (48) and Gowtham (43 from 55 balls), saw South finish the second day at 318 for seven – 48 runs clear of West Zone’s first inning score of 270.
The match turned out to be interesting as South was in place at 243 for six, but all-rounders Gowtham and T Ravi Teja (26) added 63 for the seventh wicket in just 16.2 overs, surpassing West’s total.
However, as the final is a five-day affair, South is still some distance from securing a healthy lead, which may not happen if only Teja remained among the recognized batters.
He’s got R Sai Kishore (5/86 in 35.3 overs) for company, but the left-handed spinner would be happier to take a fifth five-for and deprive young Het Patel (98) of the chance to win the coveted three-digit mark .
Mayank Agarwal bagged his catch, but later, when he came to bat, he was caught in the slip cordon by Yashasvi Jaiswal in the delivery of sailor Atit Seth.
Hanuma Vihari (25), whose Test batting slot is in line, was then caught right up front, but Indrajith was more dominant during their score of 61.
The right-hander from Tamil Nadu played some beautiful drives but was equally adept working on the supplies being thrown on his legs.
His 13th first-class hundred had 14 fours and the 105-run partnership for the fourth wicket, with the seasoned Pandey, put South in the driver’s seat.
Pandey, who had quickly hit four fours and a pair of sixes, should have turned it into a big score, but Tanush Kotian, the Mumbai off spinner, left him two short for fifty.
The difference between the two sides was how the spinners fared. As Sai Kishore and Gowtham choked the run-flow for the south, West’s two Mumbai spinners — Ranji Trophy’s top wicket taker Shams Mulani (0/73 in 14 overs) and Kotian (1/110 in 27 overs) — gave 183 runs away in the 41 overs between them.
Jaydev Unadkat (3/52), the domestic warhorse did his bit and also got a lot of support from former India U-19 Seth, but once Gowtham entered Kotian and hit him for consecutive sixes, the first innings lead was over. the take.
Short Scores: West Zone 1st Innings 270 all out (Het Patel 98, R Sai Koshore 5/86). South Zone 1st Innings 318/7 (Baba Indrajith 118, Manish Pandey 48, Krishnappa Gowtham 43, Jaydev Unadkat 3/52, Atit Seth 3/51).
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