New Delhi: Opener Lokesh Rahul's unbeaten 121 put South Zone only 117 runs away from chasing 301 against Central Zone on the fourth day of the Duleep Trophy cricket final at the Feroz Shah Kotla here on Saturday.
KL Rahul. File Pic.
The 22-year-old right-hander dominated the Central bowling to take his team to 184-1 after the opposition managed 403 in the second innings thanks to Robin Bist’s unbeaten 112 and Ali Murtaza’s 50. But Rahul continued from where he left in his first innings score of 185 and made the target of 301 look very easy.
He collected boundaries all over the park, dominating Ishwar Pandey with five fours within first two overs to make his intention clear. He made it a tough day for spin-trio Murtaza, Jalaj Saxena and Piyush Chawla. Barring pacer Pankaj Singh, all of them conceded runs at an economy rates of more than four.
His strike rate of 91.66 tells about his aggression as he faced only 132 balls, scoring 12 fours and five sixes. He forged a 96-run opening partnership with Robin Uthappa (30) and later his stand with Baba Aparajith (29) is yet to be over.
Earlier in the morning, overnight batsman Bist got it going with good support from left-hander Murtaza. Their 104-run stand for the seventh wicket came when the team lost Mahesh Rawat (16), Arindam Ghosh (22) and skipper Chawla (0). While wicketkeeper-batsman Rawat was given leg before off Pragyan Ojha’s bowling, Ghosh was stumped.
Live on tv: Central vs South zones, Star Sports 2, 09:15