South hit back to rein in East

South hit back to rein in East

The semifinal of the Duleep Trophy between East Zone and South Zone was interestingly poised after the third day with the former scoring 129 for six in their second innings to enjoy a slender 152-run lead at stumps on Tuesday.

The East bowlers, led by Iresh Saxena and Samar Quadri, bowled out South Zone for 244 in 82.4 overs in their first innings to eke out a narrow 23-run lead. However, the East batsmen failed to capitalise and lost six wickets for 129 runs at stumps at Dr. Y S Rajasekhara Reddy stadium here.

With just four wickets left, it will be intestering to see how the East batsmen fare in the first hour of play on the morrow. If they fail to survive the initial moments, then South Zone’s Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey could take the game away from East.

Earlier, Qadri and Saxena picked up two wickets each and Ashoke Dinda claimed one as South Zone could add just 110 runs to their overnight score of 134-5, to end 23 runs behind East’s first innings score. However, East played poor cricket in their second essay as barring skipper Natraj Behera (60), none of the batsmen could make any mark.

Behera had eight fours in his 113-run innings. Dheeraj Jadhav (21) and Anustup Majumdar (22) also got starts but failed to convert them as East Zone finished the day at 129-6 in 52 overs. Stuart Binny (2-25) was the pick of the bowlers for South.