Duleep Trophy: Vidwath's Seven-for, Gritty Batsmen Give South Zone Control - Eastern Mirror
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Duleep Trophy: Vidwath’s seven-for, gritty batsmen give South Zone control

By PTI Updated: Jul 14, 2023 10:27 pm
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South Zone bowler Vidhwath Kaverappa shows the ball as he celebrates after taking seven wickets during the third day of the Duleep Trophy final cricket match between South Zone and West Zone, at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Friday, July 14, 2023. (PTI Photo)

BENGALURU— South Zone underpropped the effort of their bowlers with plucky batting in their second innings, reaching 181 for seven to take reins of the Duleep Trophy final on the third day here on Friday.

South are now ahead by a healthy 248 runs. Earlier, pacer Vidwath Kaverappa bagged seven wickets (7/53) as South wasted little time in bowling out West for 146 to grab a first innings lead of 67 runs.

It was Vidwath’s career-best first-class bowling figures, and second best for South Zone in Duleep Trophy after Venkatesh Prasad’s 7 for 38 against North Zone in 1993.

South’s charge to that position of strength with the bat was tectonic. They made a stuttering start to their second innings losing R Samarth and N Tilak Varma in quick succession.

Samarth was undone by a Chintan Gaja delivery that kept a tad low, while Arzan Nagwaswalla managed to sneak the ball between Tilak’s bat and pads to rearrange the stumps.

South were 8 for 2 at that stage, and it was not an ideal situation for them as the lead had not even crossed 100.

However, Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari dented West’s ambitions of making further inroads. The third wicket pair added 64 runs in a little more than 14 overs to bring South back into the game.

But the partnership was not as smooth as one would expect considering two experienced batsmen were in the middle.

There were several plays and misses, loud appeals, edges that fell short of fielders but Mayank and Vihari were strong enough to waddle through those external pressure points.

But just as the partnership was blossoming, Mayank’s effort to pull Nagwaswalla’s short-pitched ball ended in the hands of Suryakumar Yadav.

However, Mayank was not one bit happy about it as Nagwaswalla had already bowled two allotted bouncers per over.

The Karnataka right-hander deemed it could have been called as the third short-pitched ball of the over, and thereby a no-ball.

Mayank reacted to the dismissal in a trifle manner, yelling at almost everyone around him and it later required the intervention of the match referee.

Atit Sheth induced a faint outside edge from Vihari as South slipped to 95 for 4. South needed another strong push forward with their lead still at a wobbly 162.

Ricky Bhui and Sachin Baby produced the most solid alliance of the South’s second innings for the fifth wicket, adding 59 runs off 97 balls.

There was hardly any moment of comfort for the duo, and a 22-minute stoppage due to poor light was the only halting point.

Sachin essayed a couple of perfect pulls while Bhui played a fine straight drive off Sheth as South swelled their lead past 200.

Both Sachin and Bhui were evicted at the score of 154. But by then South had filled enough fuel for a further push forward until bad light brought curtains to the day.

By PTI Updated: Jul 14, 2023 10:27:17 pm
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