South Zone captain R. Vinay Kumar returned to pavilion after a satisfying day and a hopeful note on Tuesday. His team is in with a good chance of forcing a win over holder East Zone in the Duleep Trophy semifinal.

East after gaining a lead of 23 in the first innings was struggling at 129 for six in the second. Vinay Kumar’s fine knock of 61 (7x4,117b, 152m) earlier in the day helped the team rally. Later Stuart Binny’s double strike gave South the edge. He picked up Saurabh Tiwary for a duck, with Manish Pandey picking up an excellent low catch in the second slip.

In the next over Binny trapped Nataraj Behra (60, 8x4,113 b, 148m) in front. The East Zone captain was building the innings after losing Dhiraj Jadhav with whom he added 65 for the second wicket.

Vinay Kumar had given South a good start as he had opener Manish Vardhan bowled with no runs on the board. East slid further into trouble when Anustup Mazumdar was stumped when he jumped out to Aushik Srinivas and Pandey came up with another brilliant catch to remove S.P. Gautam.

In the morning, Ashoke Dinda got an early breakthrough when he had C.M. Gautam. Then, Samar Quadri at short square leg dropped Amit Verma on 31, and Vinay Kumar and Verma (49, 4x5, 1x6, 132 b, 221m) added 65 runs for the seventh wicket.

The scores: East Zone — 1st innings: 267.

South Zone — 1st innings: Abhinav Mukund b Saxena 19, Robin Uthappa c Gautam b Biplab Samantray 40, R. Prasanna lbw Diinda 2, Manish Pandey b Samantray 31, Amit Verma c and b Samar Quadri 49, Stuart Binny lbw b Samantray 0, C.M. Gautam c S.P. Gauttam b Dinda 8, R. Vinay Kumar b Iresh Saxena 61, A. Mithun c and b Quadri 12, K.P. Appanna b Saxena 0, R. Aushik Srinivas (not out) 6; Extras (b-7, nb-9) 16; Total (in 82.4 overs): 244.

Fall of wickets: 1-69, 2-69, 3-71, 4-115, 5-115, 6-137, 7-202, 8-220, 9-221.

East Zone bowling: Ashoke Dinda 19.5-2-85-2, Basant Mohanty 18-4-37-0; Biplab Samantray 21.1-8-41-3, Iresh Saxena 13.4-3-37-2, S. Qadri 10-0-37-2.

East Zone — 2nd innings: Manish Vardhan b Vinay 0, Dhiraj Jadhva lbw b Amit Verma 21, Nataraj Behra lbw Stuart Binny 60, Anustup Mazumdar st. Gautam b Aushik Srinivas 22, Saurabh Tiwary c Manish Pandey b Binny 0, Biplab Samantray (batting) 10, S.P. Gautam c Pandey b Abhimanyu Mithun 4, Basant Mohanty (batting) 6; Extras (b-1, lb-3, nb-2) 6; Total (for six wickets in 52 overs) 129.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-65, 3-98, 4-98, 5-110, 6-121.

South Zone bowling: R. Vinay Kumar 4-2-8-1, Abhimanyu Mithun 6-1-10-1, Stuart Binny 9-2-25-2, K.P. Appanna 11-2-28-0, R. Prasanna 1-0-4-0, R. Aushik Srinivas 15-3-34-1, Amit Verma 6-1-16-0.

Keywords: Duleep Trophy

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