South Zone drub East; storm into title round

Sharath, Binny share 7 wickets in innings win

 South Zone took just 40 minutes into the third morning to decimate East Zone by an innings and 118 runs en route their entry into Duleep Trophy final, here.

East’s second innings was terminated at 62 for nine with Wriddhiman Saha nursing a bruised thumb not coming out to bat.

Their innings lasted a mere 8.3 overs on the third day morning after starting at 30 for four on on a seamer-friendly track at Bansi Lal Stadium.

With only 23.4 overs in the second innings, East batted merely 70-odd overs across two innings. Even more embarrassing was the fact that none of their batsmen could cross individual score of 20 in both innings. The highest score for East in the second essay was Laxmi Ratan Shukla’s 18.

Shukla was the first to go as he played an atrocious pull shot off HS Sharath, who returned with figures of four for 27. There was no resistance from other batsmen and with Wriddhiman taking a logical decision of resting before the Sri Lanka one dayers, the match got over in just a shade over two days. Robin Uthappa was certainly the standout performer among the 22 players as he scored 100 on a track where the next best score was 32 by Karun Nair.
No wonder East skipper Manoj Tiwary admitted that his boys lacked technique to adapt to the surface despite winning their earlier match against Central.

“Some of the boys need to go back to the drawing board and get their techniques right. It is disappointing to get out without scoring 100 in both innings.

We will have to get better,” Tiwary said. Defending champions South Zone will meet the winners of the other semifinal between Central and North Zone currently on at Mohali.  The final will be held at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla ground from October 29 to November 2.

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