Off-spinner Makwana bags five; West loses Rahane for a golden duck

North Zone effectively seized the reins of the Duleep Trophy quarterfinal match against West Zone, hammering 484 in its first innings here on Sunday. Paras Dogra (77, 147b, 10x4, 1x6), Amit Mishra (48, 94b, 2x4, 2x6) and Rishi Dhawan (38, 5x4) provided the critical thrust to shape North’s innings on day two.

West’s bowling efforts were piloted by off-spinner Kamlesh Makwana (five for 140), whose lack of genuine menace was masked by accuracy.

In reply, West finished with six for one at stumps with Kaustubh Pawar and night-watchman Murtuja Vahora at the crease. It lost opener Ajinkya Rahane for a golden duck when he tickled a bristling Ishant Sharma delivery to the wicketkeeper.

“There wasn’t much turn on offer and we had to attack the stumps. We need to see out the first hour tomorrow (Monday) morning and assess the situation,” Makwana said later.

In the morning, North’s ultra-conservative beginning — it took 24 balls to move past its overnight score of 251 — didn’t bode well.

Hints of collapse

Nitin Saini’s departure in the third over, without adding a run to his tally on the previous day, hinted at a possible collapse. He was out leg-before after his toe came in the way of a Murtuja Vahora in-ducker.

West’s decision to take the second new ball late on Saturday evening was justified as it was rewarded with two wickets. Dogra and Mayank Sidhana, then, went on to plaster the minor cracks — their 48-run alliance set the template for similar partnerships in the lower order.

It was Fallah who put an end to the collaboration as Sidhana’s violent swish landed in the hands of Makwana at gully.

Useful stand

From there, the 27-year-old Dogra and Dhawan took over. The Himachal duo’s association of 88 runs formed some of the day’s more interesting vignettes.

Rishi betrayed no sign of circumspection, executing a rasping cover-drive off Fallah. As the innings progressed, both the batsmen tucked in with relish the spinners’ offerings.

Late cuts, lofted strikes and crackling drives fuelled the run-rate before Harmeet Singh — who wasn’t nearly as impressive as he was on day one — struck. Rishi was snapped up by Rahane at first slip and a few minutes later, Dogra was trapped in front by Makwana.

Amit Mishra’s cameo

Amit Mishra played a cameo spruced up by good fortune. First, he received the benefit of doubt when Harmeet claimed a return catch. In the next over, Amit Mishra, on two, watched Fallah spill a dolly at mid-on.

Along with Ishant, who stuck it out for 90 minutes, Amit Mishra nudged the score forward. Towards the end, Parvinder Awana amused himself with some heavy-hitting.

The scores: North Zone — 1st innings: Rahul Dewan c Rahane b Makwana 65, Shikhar Dhawan st. Parthiv b Makwana 101, Sunny Singh c Parthiv b Fallah 46, Nitin Saini lbw b Vahora 37, Mayank Sidhana c Makwana b Fallah 20, Paras Dogra lbw b Makwana 77, Rishi Dhawan c Rahane b Harmeet 38, Amit Mishra lbw b Makwana 48, Ishant lbw b Makwana 8, Vikas Mishra (not out) 6, Parvinder Awana b Harmeet 23; Extras (b-5, lb-5, nb-5): 15; Total (in 174.4 overs): 484.

Fall of wickets: 1-164 (Dhawan), 2-175 (Dewan), 3-251 (Sunny), 4-251 (Saini), 5-299 (Sidhana), 6-387 (Rishi), 7-399 (Dogra), 8-446 (Ishant), 9-454 (Amit).

West Zone bowling: Samad Fallah 30-11-59-2, Murtuja Vahora 24-8-53-1, Harmeet 44.4-5-147-2, Abhishek Nayar 22-7-51-0, Kamlesh Makwana 47-7-140-5, Kaustubh Pawar 3-0-11-0, Kedar Jadhav 4-0-13-0.

West Zone — 1st innings: Kaustubh Pawar (batting) 4, Ajinkya Rahane c Saini b Ishant 0, Murtuja Vahora (batting) 0; Extras (b-1, lb-1): 2; Total (for one wkt. in three overs): 6.

Fall of wicket: 1-5 (Rahane).

North Zone bowling: Ishant 2-1-4-1, Parvinder Awana 1-1-0-0.

Keywords: Duleep Trophy

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