North marches ahead to take on Central in the semifinals
Shorn of any context whatsoever, day four of the Duleep Trophy quarterfinal unfolded with no surprises here on Tuesday: North Zone’s massive first-innings lead (320 runs) was good enough to defeat West Zone and march ahead to the semifinals against Central Zone, beginning in Hyderabad on October 14.
South will take on East in the other semifinal beginning at Visakhapatnam on the same day.
With only events of statistical significance to look forward to, the game dawdled along to a boring draw.
West’s off-spinner Kamlesh Makwana (five for 80) had plenty to cherish, however, as he achieved his second 10-wicket haul at the first-class level (match haul of 10 for 220).
Resuming at 30 for no loss, man-of-the-match and North skipper Shikhar Dhawan (50, 8x4) and Rahul Dewan (45, 6x4) looked to reprise their first-innings partnership before the Makwana-Parthiv Patel combination accounted for them.
Dewan was first to go when he was caught behind.
Dhawan, who brought up his half-century with a boundary, jumped out of the crease to the very next ball he faced. The left-hander was stumped for the second time in the match.
The innings received no injection of momentum as left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh (two for 41) and the 29-year-old Makwana took a liking to the slow surface, claiming all the wickets to fall.
The batsmen went through their motions and North eventually declared about an hour after lunch at 208 for seven.
West, set an improbable target of 529 runs, could do little to change the course of the game. Dhawan deployed spinners to make up for the slow over-rate in the first innings. Small mercies came from the bats of Ajinkya Rahane and West captain Cheteshwar Pujara, both exhibiting elegance in plenty.
Meanwhile, leg-spinner Amit Mishra’s no-ball woes continued: he tallied 16 in the match.
North Zone — 1st innings: 484.
West Zone — 1st innings: 164.
North Zone — 2nd innings: Rahul Dewan c Patel b Makwana 45, Shikhar Dhawan st Patel b Makwana 50, Sunny Singh b Harmeet 28, Nitini Saini c Makwana b Harmeet 18, Mayank Sidhana b Makwana 13, Paras Dogra (not out) 36, Amit Mishra c Rahane b Makwana 3, Rishi Dhawan st Patel b Makwana 10, Vikas Mishra (not out) 0; Extras (b-1, lb-2, w-2): 5; Total (for seven wkts. decl. in 67 overs): 208.
Fall of wickets: 1-78 (Dewan), 2-111 (S. Dhawan), 3-131 (Sunny), 4-148 (Saini), 5-176 (Sidhana), 6-188 (Amit Mishra), 7-204 (R. Dhawan).
West Zone bowling: Samad Fallah 11-3-25-0, Murtuja Vahora 6-2-17-0, Abhishek Nayar 9-1-31-0, Kamlesh Makwana 23-2-80-5, Harmeet Singh 14-2-41-2, Kedar Jadhav 4-1-11-0.
West Zone — 2nd innings: Bhushan Chauhan c Saini b Amit Mishra 20, Kaustubh Pawar lbw b Vikas Mishra 20, Ajinkya Rahane (not out) 15, Cheteshwar Pujara (not out) 10; Extras (nb-4): 4; Total (for two wkts. in 29 overs): 69.
Fall of wickets: 1-42 (Chauhan), 2-42 (Pawar).
North Zone bowling: Amit Mishra 14-3-28-1, Vikas Mishra 14-4-36-1, Paras Dogra 1-0-5-0.
Man-of-the-match: Shikhar Dhawan.
Keywords: Duleep Trophy