North Zone bowlers produced an impressive effort to bowl out South Zone for 195 to put their team at a slight advantage on the second day of the Duleep Trophy 2023 semifinals
After their batsmen's limp outing, North Zone bowlers produced an impressive effort to bowl out South Zone for 195 to put their team at a slight advantage on the second day of the Duleep Trophy 2023 semifinals here on Thursday.
At close, North were 51 for 2 in their second innings for a lead of 54 runs.
They would want to build on this slender lead substantially on Day 3.
When it was their turn, South Zone had a chance to construct a bigger total but bulked under the constant pressure applied by North bowlers.
South started the day at 63 for 4 while chasing North's first innings 198.
It was a nervy situation but the presence of Mayank Agarwal and N Tilak Varma, starting on 37 and 12 respectively, would have upped the optimism of South to raise a sizable score.
It was not entirely unfounded too. The fifth-wicket pair, which had joined forces when South were 35 for 4, resisted with aplomb a spirited attack that fully exploited the overcast conditions.
There were fortunate moments too as some edges fell short of the fielders or the ball eluded the bat's edge by the most miniscule of margins.
But they were still solid enough to amass 110 runs that helped South move to 145, and within striking distance of North's total.
Mayank was the dominant partner during this alliance, and it was not really surprising either. The Karnataka batsman was the highest run-getter in the 2022-23 Ranji Trophy season, scoring 990 runs from 13 innings.
Mayank swiftly completed a fifty, and in the first session of the day he made 30 runs off 49 balls with four fours.
If the innings can be taken as an indication, then the 32-year-old could produce another run-drenched season in domestic circuit.
On the other hand, Tilak was compact in his approach as this was his first First-Class game of the year after missing the whole of the Ranji Trophy last year owing to an injury.
The Hyderabad left-hander looked the part too as he drove, especially through the 'V' down the ground, with enthusiasm.
However, both the batters missed the personal landmarks of hundred and fifty. Mayank perished to Jayant Yadav in his attempt to step out and tackle the off-spinner for 76, while Tilak fell to pacer Vaibhav Arora for 46.
Their dismissals opened the door for North Zone bowlers and they rushed in through it, striking at regular intervals.
R Sai Kishore played a cameo of 21 that seemed to be good enough to give South an important first-innings lead. However, Jayant snaffled him to end such hopes.
(With PTI inputs)