South Zone move into semifinals

 Former champions South Zone progressed to the semifinal of the Duleep Trophy, pipping West Zone by virtue of a 313-run first innings lead after their four-day quarterfinal match ended in a draw here on Sunday.

South Zone will now play Central Zone in the last-four game here at the MA Chdambaram Stadium from October 10-13.

South Zone’s Malolan Rangarajan (5-101) wrecked havoc, dismissing five West Zone batsmen, while spinners Abhinav Mukund (2-8) and R Aushik Srinivas (2-52) shared four wickets between them.

West  Zone’s top-order batsman Aknit Bawne’s chanceless unbeaten 115 (377b, 7x4s, 1x6s) was the highlight of the day.

Baba Aparajith was rightly adjudged man-of-the-match for his all-round display.

Overnight unbeaten batsmen, Rakesh Dhruv, who survived a run out chance when on 36, made a valuable 53 before he was caught at mid-on by Rohan Prem of Srinivas as West Zone were bowled out for 287 in reply to South Zone’s mammoth first innings total of 600 declared for the loss of nine wickets.

South made 44 runs in their second essay for the loss one wicket in 22.5 overs before both the captains agreed for an inevitable draw.

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