South Zone in control against Central Zone

South Zone took a commanding position in the Duleep Trophy semifinal as they skittled out Central Zone for a mere 209 before reaching 137 for two in reply on the second day of the match here on Friday.

Resuming at the overnight 123 for five, Central Zone kept losing wickets at regular intervals with skipper Piyush Chawla being the team’s top-scorer with a fine knock of 56.

In reply, South Zone were cruising along with captain Abhinav Mukund (61) and Baba Aparajith (35) at the crease when stumps were drawn for the day.

The hosts now need to score just 73 more runs to take first innings lead, and barring a collapse, they would book their berth in the title clash.

In the morning session, overnight batsman Shalabh Srivastava (22) did not last too long and was trapped leg befor wicket by Malolan Rangarajan.

Chawla tried to hold fort for some time but after a 42-run seventh-wicket partnership with Jalaj Saxena, he became spinner Pragyan Ojha’s second wicket in an overall tally of 3/49. Chawla’s stay at the crease yielded four fours and three sixes.

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