Mithun stars as South dominate

An incisive spell of seam bowling by Karnataka’s Abhimanyu Mithun helped South Zone reduce Central Zone to 123 for five on a rain curtailed first day of the Duleep Trophy semifinal on Thursday.

Only 50.2 overs of play was possible on the day with Uttar Pradesh’s beefy left-hander Mukul Dagar scoring 45 while  Mohammed Kaif (6) and Robin Bist (18) failed to make any substantial contribution. Mithun was the pick of the bowlers with figures of three for 24 in 10 overs.

Opting to bat, Central Zone suffered a setback when veteran right-handed opener Vineet Saxena (0) was bowled by inswinger from Mithun. India discard Kaif (6)received a seaming delivery and played the wrong line to get bowled.

At 13 for two, Dagar and Bist came together adding 56 runs for the third wicket. The duo batted for nearly 23 overs before Bist padded an arm ball from Pragyan Ojha to be adjudged plumb in-front.

Dagar finally edged an angling delivery from Mithun to wicketkeeper CM Gautham behind the stumps. At 76 for four, Vidarbha batsman Shalabh Srivastava (18 batting) and Naman Ojha (23) added 43 runs to steady the ship but the Central glovesman was trapped leg-before by a classical off-break from Malolan Rangarajan at the fag end of the day.

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