North Zone storm into semifinals

Innings lead spurs Dhawan & Co

North Zone advanced to the semifinals of the Duleep Trophy cricket tournament by virtue of their 320-run first innings lead as the inconsequential fourth and final day’s play ended with West Zone losing two wickets in their second essay here on Tuesday.

North’s qualification to the last-four stage was virtually sealed on the penultimate day itself, after pacer Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra grabbed seven wickets between them to shot out West for a mere 164 in their first innings.

North had amassed 484 all out in their first essay, with skipper and man of the match Shikhar Dhawan leading the way with a century, which vindicated his decision to bat first.

Dhawan declared their second innings at 208 for seven in 67 overs and West were 69 for two in 29 overs when the match was called off at the start of the mandatory overs. Dhawan made an impact in the second innings as well, scoring a half-century (50). Offspinner Kamlesh Makvana shone for West, finishing with a 10-wicket haul — five in each innings.

Resuming at an overnight score of 30 for no loss, North openers Rahul Devan and Dhawan played freely, making 78 runs for the first wicket, before the former edged to Parthiv Patel off Makvana. Devan made 45 off 104 alls.

Dhawan fell six overs later but not before playing another substantial knock.
Makvana teased Dhawan who missed the line of the ball to be stumped. His knock contained eight fours.

Faced with the impossible task of scoring 528 for a win in less than 50 overs, West lost openers Bhushan Chavan and Kustubh Pawar in their second innings.

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