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Dravid, Karthik shut out Central

Driving force: Rahul Dravid combined stout defence and authoritative strokes in his century on the third day.

Driving force: Rahul Dravid combined stout defence and authoritative strokes in his century on the third day.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

K.C. Vijaya Kumar

Balaji’s second ball strike gives South the all-important lead

Bangalore: Rahul Dravid and Dinesh Karthik flexed their bats after L. Balaji rattled stumps in the morning as South Zone assumed total dominance over Central Zone in the Duleep Trophy match in progress at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Saturday.

At close on the third day, Dravid’s 118 (218b, 19x4, 1x6) and Karthik’s unbeaten 103 (119b, 17x4) helped South post 345 for six in its second innings as it nursed an overall lead of 348 after restricting the Central first innings to 326.

In the morning, Balaji castled Umesh Yadav with the day’s second delivery as South grabbed a three-run first innings lead. Immediately the South second innings suffered a false-start as Robin Uthappa, Abhinav Mukund and S. Badrinath succumbed early to the seamers.

At 24 for three, Dravid though missing his comrade-in-crisis Laxman, who rested in the dressing room with a left ankle sprain, found an ally in Arjun Yadav (68) as the duo shared a 154-run fourth-wicket partnership that had its share of luck.

Element of luck

On two, Dravid was caught off a Bhuvneshwar Kumar no-ball while substitute Faiz Fazal dropped Arjun, then on a blob, in the slips off Pankaj Singh. Arjun grew in confidence while Dravid mixed stout defence with the authoritative cover drive. Arjun was eventually stumped off left-arm spinner Murali Kartik but Dravid found an aggressive foil in first-innings centurion Dinesh Karthik. Dravid and Karthik authored a 125-run fifth-wicket partnership while Central skipper Mohamad Kaif swapped his bowlers.

Dravid moved to 99 with an effortless six off leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and followed it with a brace as he reached his hundred. Though Dravid fell later on an attempted glide, Karthik, beginning with his inside-out drives and reverse sweep off Murali Kartik, drove and cut the seamers with finesse as he notched his second century of the match that shut Central out of the contest.

The scores:

South Zone — 1st innings: 329.

Central Zone — 1st innings: T. Srivastava c D. Karthik b Uthappa 24, S. Shukla b Sreesanth 26, Yere Goud c Karthik b Balaji 4, Md. Kaif c Uthappa b M. Suresh 73, Parvinder Singh lbw b Sreesanth 5, Naman Ojha lbw b Sreesanth 85, Bhuvneshwar Kumar c Karthik b Uthappa 28, P. Chawla c Laxman b Ashwin 35, M. Kartik (not out) 23, Pankaj Singh lbw b Balaji 1, Umesh Yadav b Balaji 0. Extras (b-4, lb-5, nb-6, w-7): 22. Total (in 100.3 overs): 326.

Fall of wickets: 1-52, 2-65, 3-65, 4-78, 5-205, 6-265, 7-266, 8-323, 9-326.

South Zone bowling: Balaji 28.3-8-72-3, Sreesanth 25-4-92-3, Ashwin 26-2-86-1, Uthappa 11-2-41-2, Suresh 10-1-26-1.

South Zone — 2nd innings: Abhinav Mukund b Pankaj Singh 1, R. Uthappa c Piyush b Bhuvneshwar Kumar 16, R. Dravid c Naman Ojha b Bhuvneshwar 118, S. Badrinath c Ojha b Pankaj 0, A. Yadav st Ojha b Murali Kartik 68, D. Karthik (batting) 103, M. Suresh c Ojha b Umesh 15, R. Ashwin (batting) 4. Extras (b-4, lb-9, nb-6, w-1): 20. Total (for six wickets in 88 overs): 345.

Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-23, 3-24, 4-178, 5-303, 6-337.

Central Zone bowling: Pankaj 18-5-73-2, Bhuvneshwar 23-3-66-2, Umesh 19-0-77-1, Murali Kartik 15-3-56-1, Parvinder 4-1-17-0, Piyush 9-0-43-0.

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