Coimbatore, September 21
West Zone’s batting stars, including former India captain Ajinkya Rahane, flattered to deceive as South Zone restricted them to 250/8 on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy final here today.
It was the young wicketkeeper Het Patel (96 not out) who helped West recover from a precarious 167/8. Coming into bat at 64/4, the 23-year-old from Gujarat stayed in a positive mind-set despite wickets falling at the other end — he scored at a rate of over 50. Patel shared an 83-run stand for the ninth wicket with Saurashtra veteran Jaydev Unadkat (39 not out).
However, West Zone’s top-five failed to make a mark. Both the openers, Yashasvi Jaiswal (1) and current India A captain Priyank Panchal (7), and No. 3 Rahane (8) fell early, with West Zone 16/3. South Zone’s Pacers Basil Thampi (2/42 in 15 overs) and CV Stephen (2/39 in 10 overs) blew away the West top-order within the first half-an-hour. Shreyas Iyer (37) and Sarfaraz Khan (34) steadied the ship, but both failed to convert their starts into big scores. In-form left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore (3/80 in 32 overs) dismissed both the set batters.
Brief scores: West Zone 250/8 (Patel 96*, Unadkat 39*; Kishore 3/80, Thampi 2/42, Stephen 2/39).
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