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Tips from Dhoni and Dravid helped: Ishan Kishan

After taking East Zone to victory, Kishan reflects on his batting

With a sparkling 36-ball 67, Ishan Kishan helped East Zone to a seven-wicket win against Central Zone. The youngster posted his maiden T20 half-century as the Manoj Tiwary-led team chased down the 152-run target in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Inter-zonal T20.

While Kishan took on the bowling, Ishank Jaggi, who had come to the crease at 41 for one held up one end and took EZ to the finish line with an unbeaten 51 off 37 balls. After Sreevats Goswami was run out by Karn Sharma, the No 3 bat joined his state-mate in charting the course of victory.

Kishan who was dropped on 10 at mid-wicket off Aniket Choudhary dominated the attack with panache and cleared the ropes at will. Speaking about his match-winning knock, he said, “I am happy about victory in the first match and also it is my first T20 fifty so happy about that too. It would have been better had I remained not out. I threw the wicket in a very bad manner,” he added with remorse.

That batsman said that the time spent with MS Dhoni and Rahul Dravid has helped him evolve as a player. “During the multi-day matches he (Dhoni was with the team) himself called and spoke to me. That is definitely a plus for a youngster. He told me what kind of a mindset you have to keep while batting when you want to score big. It is not like you should attack from the very beginning which is something that one tends to do at this age. And where ‘keeping was concerned I also discussed with him a few problems that I was facing. He told me the best drills to counter those and these pointers really help a youngster.” The batsman added that the fitness regime he has learnt from Dhoni while he was with the Jharkhand team too has helped.

“In Under-19, I was with Rahul Dravid and he talked to me about working on my footwork and I have done that. Our coach Rajiv Kumar Raja also helped me in the state camp,” he added.

Looking for a big hit, he departed with 40 runs needed and Saurabh Tiwary joined Jaggi in the middle. After contributing six runs, however he returned looking to sweep Lomror and was caught at mid-wicket. Manoj then took the team to the target with Jaggi.

Earlier, Central Zone had lost Lomror to a run out off the fourth ball of the innings while Ashoke Dinda had forced an edge from Ambati Rayudu through to the wicketkeeper to leave the team on two for two. While Naman Ojha anchored the innings, he partnered with HS Bhatia for 75 runs to revive the innings. However after the departure of the middle-order bat the captain worked to keep the steady flow of runs with the rest of the line up.

A while later S Dhaliwal returned hitting the bowler to long on and a bit later Apoorva Wankhede returned to the pavilion hitting the Sayan Gosh to third man leaving the team on 118 for five. Karn, who then joined Naman in taking the innings forward was bowled by Dinda with the side on 130 in the penultimate over.

After adding 21 runs to the total with Mahesh Rawat, Naman too was out off the last ball looking for a big hit. While the captain had played a determined knock, Dinda-led attack had restricted the CZ to a modest total.

Prajakta Pawar
Prajakta Pawar

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Our fielding made a big impact: Irfan Pathan

All-rounder sets up West Zone win with three quick North Zone wickets

West Zone cantered to an eight-wicket win against North Zone in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Inter-zonal T20 at Wankhede Stadium.
After losing to Central Zone, the Parthiv Patel-led team put up an improved performance the next day to turn fortunes around. Irfan Pathan set up the stage by claiming three of the top four batsmen of the power-packed NZ lineup to leave the Harbhajan Singh-led team on 24 for three. Despite, Gautam Gambhir’s (60) efforts NZ were restricted to 107 for eight. Parthiv Patel then helped his team to the target with a well compiled half-century.

While Gambhir held up one end, the Irfan-led attack ran through the NZ lineup after Parthiv elected to field. The left-arm pacer forced an edge from Shikhar Dhawan to the slips to get the first breakthrough. 12 runs later, Rishabh Pant holed out an Irfan delivery to mid-off and Yuvraj Singh was caught at covers off the next ball. While the bowler missed out on a hat-trick he had firmly pushed the opposition on the back foot.

The experienced campaigner had set up the stage for his side by bowling all of his four overs on the trot. Speaking about his 3/10 Irfan said, “At the end of the day it is how many wickets that you have taken that counts. It has been a good day. I am really happy it has been a much better day result wise. And also happy with the way the bowl swung as well.”

NZ couldnt recover from the early strikes as Gambhir found little support from the other end. Amit Pachharra looking for a second even after slipping and falling found himself run out by a direct hit from Shreyas Iyer from square-leg leaving NZ on 32 for four. While Parvez Rasool was sent back by Abhishek Nayar, Deepak Hooda ran out Mayank Dagar leaving the side tottering on 57 for six. Harbhajan Singh’s stay at the crease was ended by Ishwar Choudhary for seven with NZ on 90. And although he took the team past the three-figure mark, the opener departed hitting Shardul Thakur to square-leg with a ball left in the innings.

Iyer then kicked-off the chase with Parthiv. The local lad smacked Pardeep Sangwan through deep midwicket to set the tone. While he drove and upper-cut the ball to the fence, the captain too looked in sublime touch as he guided the ball to the boundary. They had taken the 80 when Iyer was adjudged lbw off Rasool. The captain milked the NZ attack as he closed in on the target but 12 runs later he was castled by Mohit Sharma. Aditya Tare then took the team to a comprehensive win.

Speaking about the turnaround for the team in a day’s time, Irfan, said, “Shitanshu Kotak (coach) has done a wonderful job along with Parthiv Patel. The team is very good including our manager. We are all coming together and making sure that we put up our best. Yes, we know we are not the best fielding side given the choices what we have in the team, but still we need to give it our best and that’s what we did today.

We held our catches and had two direct hits for run-outs. It was a totally different scenario from what happened yesterday. Obviously the guys talked about it and we all as professionals took the ownership to get better on the field. The main thing was to be a better fielding side and obviously luckily it was a good toss to win.” 

Further elaborating on the difference between winning and losing in two games he said, “Yesterday we lost the toss but we got a good start (but) then we lost (way) in the middle (lost wickets). If you don’t lose too many wickets when you bat first then actually it becomes easier.

Even though we were struggling we scored 160 runs yesterday, but today North Zone kept losing wickets. We kept getting wickets, run outs as well so that was the major thing. The bigger impact than the toss was our fielding.” 

Prajakta Pawar
Prajakta Pawar

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