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Jaggi, Manoj Tiwary star in East Zone’s win

South Zone suffer second successive defeat

With a 51-ball 90, Ishank Jaggi led East Zone to a six-wicket win against South Zone in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Inter-zonal T20. After Manoj Tiwary picked 3/31, the East Zone attack restricted the opposition to 178, the top-order bat helped the team to their second successive victory of the tournament.

Carrying his form from the longest format into the shortest version of the game, the batsman shaped the chase after coming to the crease at 13 for one. At the departure of Ishan Kishan taking the aerial route to S Arvind in the second over, Jaggi joined Shreevats Goswami in the middle. The pacer’s next over, the No 3 showed intent as he launched the bowler over long-off and followed it up with a boundary. Couple of overs later though, his another attempt at a big hit was caught at square-leg by GH Vihari. However, Vijay Shankar had bowled a no-ball and the batsman got a life when on 39. While batsman continued to take the attack to the opposition, the opener was sent back by Vijay in his next over, leaving EZ on 77 for two.

While Jaggi capitalised, he found an ally in Saurabh Tiwary. The pair added 81 runs for the third wicket until the flourishing stand was ended by Vinay Kumar with the wicket of the hard-hitting middle-order bat. The SZ captain would have had a second wicket in same over had the point fielder been able to hold to the catch to send back Jaggi. However, the batsman was sent back off the first ball of the next over by B Thampi. Manoj Tiwary took the team to the target with Biplab Samantaray.

“It was an important knock because our team won. It has been a good season for me as I feel I have hit the peak," Jaggi said while reflecting on the knock. I would say it has been our coach Rajiv Kumar (Jharkhand coach) and it is not something that I have told anyone. This guy gave us a lot of confidence, this guy changed everything from the mindset to the positivity and everything. He told us to go out and express ourselves and that is the only we can perform. He told us not to have fear of failure and that was a big factor. He changed me a lot, I was a good player but I was not that professional and coach Kumar helped me a lot along with the captain," he said while talking about the difference this season for himself and his state side.

Earlier, after electing to field, Pritam Das had given EZ their first breakthrough by dismantling Tanmay Agarwal’s stumps in the second over. Vinay Kumar then joined Mayank Agarwal in laying a platform for a respectable total. The all-rounder, who has been batting up the order on occasions during the season’s T20 matches, came in at No 3 and partnered the opener for 112 runs. The duo milked the opposition until Manoj accounted for Mayank. Looking to go over the top, the opener departed for 72. And in the following over Dinesh Karthik was run out leaving SZ on 129 for three. 10 runs later, Ricky Bhui too returned taking the aerial route to Manoj. In his next over, the EZ skipper accounted for his opposite number to leave SZ on 162 for five and kept the team in check. Couple of overs later Sayan Gosh claimed GH Vihari. Saurabh took his third catch in the long-off region to leave the team on 174 for six in the penultimate over. Pavan Deshpande and Vijay Shankar then took the SZ to 178 for six and set the opposition a competitive target.  

Prajakta Pawar
Prajakta Pawar

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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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