Duleep Trophy: Kohli’s partner wreaked havoc, South Zone got the target of 215 runs; West Zone in driving seat with Pujara’s ton

Duleep Trophy: South Zone have got a target of 215 runs to win against North Zone in the second semi-final of Duleep Trophy. Whereas, West Zone had taken a lead of 384 runs against Central Zone.

North Zone’s middle order crumbled in the second innings with five wickets from fast bowler Vijaykumar Vaisakh. Thus South Zone were set a target of 215 for victory on Day 3 of the second semi-final of the Duleep Trophy in Bengaluru on Friday, July 7, 2023. At the end of the third day’s play, South Zone had scored 21 runs without losing a wicket. His opener B Sai Sudarshan was unbeaten on three and veteran Mayank Agarwal scored 15 runs.

Vijayakumar Vaisakh was also a part of Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. He played 7 matches for RCB in IPL 2023. In this he took 9 wickets. Vijaykumar Vaisakh was included in the squad as a replacement for Wayne Parnell.

On the other hand, in the first semi-final at Alur, West Zone consolidated their position against Central Zone on the back of veteran Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara’s century. Cheteshwar Pujara’s 278-ball 133 took the team to 292 for nine at the end of the rain-affected day, taking a huge lead of 384 runs.

On the morning of July 7, North Zone started play with a score of 146 runs for 3 wickets. After this, Vijayakumar wreaked havoc with the old ball and the team’s score was 171 for 8 wickets. North Zone’s second innings was bundled out for just 211 runs in 56.4 overs on a rain-affected third day. Karnataka pacer Vidwat Kaverappa (2/47) got Ankit Kalsi caught behind by Ricky Bhui behind the stumps.

South Zone vs North Zone: Prabhsimran Singh misses out on a century

In the South Zone vs North Zone match, the talented Prabhsimran Singh (63 off 93 balls) and Haryana’s Ankit Kumar (29) anchored the team with an 85-run partnership for the fourth wicket. The North Zone side were on the verge of taking a total lead of 150 runs when Vijayakumar bowled a match-changing spell with the old ball.

Return of North Zone became difficult as soon as Nishant was dismissed

After dismissing Prabhsimran, Jayant Yadav and Pulkit Narang were returned to the pavilion within 3 balls. A few overs later, a dangerous looking Nishant Sindhu was dismissed, making it difficult for North to make a comeback. Harshit Rana (38 runs in 36 balls) played a key role in taking the team past 200 runs.

West Zone vs Central Zone: Sarfaraz Khan returned to the pavilion at the beginning of the day

In the match between West Zone and Central Zone, West Zone started the third day at 149 for 3 wickets. At that time Cheteshwar Pujara was batting on 50 runs. He has faced 278 balls in an innings of 366 minutes. During this he hit 14 fours and one six. Central Zone started the day well by taking Sarfaraz Khan to the pavilion in the very first over of the day.

Cheteshwar Pujara batted carefully

Sarfaraz was caught by wicket-keeper Upendra Yadav on the ball of Khabu spinner Saurabh Kumar without any increase in his score of 6 runs of the previous day. After this, wicketkeeper Het Patel (27) shared a 47-run partnership with Pujara for the 5th wicket. During this, Pujara focused on batting carefully and scored runs only on those balls which were weak.

Cheteshwar Pujara hit 60th first class century

Cheteshwar Pujara batted 102 balls in the first session of the day and added 42 runs with the help of three fours. In the second session of the day after lunch, he hit Saurabh for two consecutive fours to complete his 60th first-class century. After reaching the three-figure mark, Pujara batted with ease and took the sting out of his ouster from the Indian team with some scintillating strokes against Saurabh and off-spinner Saransh Jain.

He surprised everyone by hitting a six using the wrist against Saurabh. The team was losing wickets at one end, but Pujara stood firm at the other end. He was run out trying to keep the strike by taking a single off the last ball of the last over of the day. Saurabh took four wickets and Saransh took three wickets for the middle zone. Fast bowler Yash Thakur got a breakthrough.


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