Duleep Trophy: NZ vs WZ, Day 3
Chennai, Oct 8: A fiery spell of fast bowling from Ishant Sharma decimated the West Zone top order in their Airtel Duleep Trophy quarter-final match against North Zone. Resuming their first innings at 6/1, West Zone were bundled out for 164 in their first innings, thereby giving North Zone a huge 320-run first-innings lead. North Zone are now in total control of this match.
Ishant, who is on a comeback trail, dealt West Zone a huge blow last evening when he dismissed the prolific Ajinkya Rahane for a first-ball duck. He carried on with his wicket-taking way into Day 3 too as he picked up three more top-order wickets, including that of the run-machine and West Zone skipper, Cheteshwar Pujara. Sharma’s four wickets in the innings also included those of opener Kaustubh Pawar and Bhushan Chauhan who batted at No.4.
The only resistance in the innings came from Chauhan, who made 35 and wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, who made 51. The only notable partnership in the innings was the 72-run stand between Chauhan and Patel for the fifth wicket.
While Ishant ripped open the top to finish with impressive figures of 17-6-29-4, the spin duo of Amit Mishra and Vikas Mishra polished off the tail. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra returned with a three-wicket haul and left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra returned with the scalp of Samad Fallah. Rishi Dhawan was the other wicket-taker for North Zone; he accounted for the scalps of Murtuja Vahora and Parthiv Patel.
Despite having a huge lead of 320, North Zone decided it was best to give their batsmen a second hit in the middle and resisted the option to enforce the follow-on and push for an outright win. By the time stumps were drawn at the end of the third day, their openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Rahul Dewan – had helped their team to 30 for no loss from fourteen overs.
North Zone 1st Innings: 484 in 174.4 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 101, Rahul Dewan 65, Paras Dogra 77, Kamlesh Makvana 5-140); West Zone 1st Innings: 164 in 70.4 overs (Parthiv Patel 51, Bhushan Chauhan 35, Ishant Sharma 4-29, Amit Mishra 3-41); North Zone 2nd Innings: 30-0 in 14.0 overs