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Recent Match Report – West Zone vs South Zone Final 2022/23

Western Zone 250 for 8 (Patel 96*, Unadkat 39*, Sai Kishore 3-80) vs South Zone

West Zone’s sought-after batting stars, including Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer, were flattered to cheat as South Zone limited them to 250 for 8 people on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy final in Coimbatore on Wednesday.

It was young Gujarat wicketkeeper Het Patel (96 out) and his 87-run ninth wicket score with Saurashtra’s Jaydev Unadkat (39*) that helped West Zone recover from a precarious 167 for 8 to a safer 250 for 8 at the end of 90 hours of overtime.

But much was expected from an incredibly strong batting lineup from the West Zone, showing off Rahane (8), Iyer (37), Sarfaraz Khan (34), Yashasvi Jaiswal (1) and current India A captain Priyank Panchal ( 7).

For South Zone, pace bowlers Basil Thampi (2 for 42 in 15 overs) and CV Stephen (2 for 39 in 10 overs) blew away the West Zone’s top order within the first half hour.

And then in-form left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore (3 for 80 in 32 overs) choked first and then ran through the middle order before lower-order resistance brought West Zone back into play somewhat.

In the morning, the left-armed Andhra sailor Stephen had Jaiswal poke the stump outside and was caught by wicketkeeper Ricky Bhui.

Rahane started with a boundary, but old habits continued to haunt him as Ravi Teja broke one into the slip cordon when Kerala speedster Thampi led him to get one behind the stumps. For Panchal, Stephen’s delivery straightened a touch after the throw and had the India A captain perpendicular to the stumps.

Once it was 16 for 3, the Mumbai pair Sarfaraz and Iyer got together and it looked like the innings were being revived with a score of 48 runs. As Sarfaraz held up one end, Iyer played his tricks, including four fours and a six.

It was Sai Kishore, who let Iyer catch B Indrajith just as the batter looked set and similarly got Sarfaraz to end his 117-ball wake.

Tamil Nadu’s left arm spinner then shook West Zone with his third scalp when left-handed batter Shams Mulani was ambushed by a pitch that turned a shadow back into him.

Patel, for his part, stopped the rot during his stay of 178 balls, in which there were six fours and a six. He first added 63 for the seventh wicket with Atit Seth (25) before Thampi broke through with the old ball.

K Gowtham then had Tanush Kotian before Patel and Unadkat braved South Zone for 21 overs.

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