Duleep Trophy: West Zone in command against South

February 8th, 2009 - 11:39 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Feb 7 (IANS) West Zone took a 260-run first innings lead and then consolidated their advantage by making 232 for four in their second essay against South Zone in the Duleep Trophy final at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here Saturday.
South Zone, who began at 106 for four, collapsed to 199 all out, replying to 459 with skipper Subramaniam Badrinath making a fine unbeaten 100 (163b, 10 x 4, 3 x 6). West did not enforce the follow-on and extended their overall lead to 492 runs by stumps on the third day.

Batting a second time, West’s intentions were clear as they went for quick runs even as the demoralised South all but gave up the fight.

Runs flowed freely as Parthiv Patel (64 retd hurt) and Ajinkya Rahane (98) helped themselves to half-centuries against a South attack that looked rather innocuous on the same pitch on which the West spinners appeared unplayable.

If Patel batted with assurance without collaring the bowling before walking off the field, Rahane, centurion in the first innings, was aggressive from the start and looked good enough to reach the three-figure mark again. But trying to glide part-time off-spinner S. Badrinath down the legside, he got a thin edge for wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik to pouch the catch.

It was a meek surrender by the South Zone batsmen none of whom, barring Badrinath, applied themselves to the task.

It turned out to be a catching practice for the West Zone fielders as the left-arm spinner Rajesh Pawar and off-spinner Ramesh Powar spun a web around the batsmen.

After Dinesh Karthik, who was dropped twice, left chasing a wide delivery to be caught at slip, it was just a matter of time before the other batsmen followed.

Ramesh Powar hastened the South collapse by snapping up two wickets in one over, first having Arun Yadav caught at short-leg and then trapping Ashwin plumb in front to reduce the hosts to 147 for seven.

For a brief while, Shadab Jakati (23) supported Badrinath who was nearing his century, in a 43-run stand for the eighth wicket. But the West bowlers struck soon.

Jakati snicked a widish delivery outside the off-stump and offered a simple catch at slips and then Sreesanth was run out following a yes-no with Badrinath who completed his century with a straight-driven boundary off Abhishek Nayar before last man Vinay Kumar fell to Pawar, guiding the ball to slips.

West bowlers did a good job performing with commendable discipline while limiting the extras to just one.

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