Duleep Trophy final, Day 2: South Zone gain slender lead
South Zone gained a 48-run lead over West Zone on Day 2 of the ongoing Duleep Trophy final in Coimbatore. Hanuma Vihari-led SZ finished on 318/7 at stumps, with Baba Indrajith slamming an innings-defining ton. Jaydev Unadkat and Atit Sheth took three wickets each for West Zone. Earlier, WZ were bundled out for 270. Het Patel missed out on his century.
West Zone resumed from their overnight score of 250/8. Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, who was SZ's standout bowler on the opening day, completed his five-wicket haul. Unlike their opponents, South Zone started well but lost their way shortly. Indrajith reached the three-figure mark, while Manish Pandey scored 48 (69). Krishnappa Gowtham added a valuable 43. Telukupalli Ravi Teja (26*) and Sai Kishore (6*) returned unbeaten.
Indrajith was the star performer for South Zone on Day 2. The right-handed batter helped SZ recover from 40/2. Indrajith went on to smash 118 off 125 deliveries (14 fours). It was his 13th century in First-Class cricket. The 28-year-old has over 3,500 runs in the format. He averages over 52.00 and has a best FC score of 200.
Indrajith shared a century stand with Manish Pandey after skipper Vihari (25) departed. Indrajith added 105 runs along with Pandey, guiding SZ past the 200-run mark. Gowtham and Ravi Teja then propelled them past 300.
South Zone responded well despite losing their top three quite cheaply. It was the second session where things improved for them. West Zone spinners Tanush Kotian and Shams Mulani had a below-average phase, conceding at nearly 6 an over. Jaydev Unadkat picked up three scalps for West Zone alongside Atit Sheth. West Zone will hope to bowl well tomorrow.