Young opener Yashasvi Jaiswal hit his way to a double hundred in about two and a half sessions as West Zone took control, despite South’s 57-run first innings lead on the third day of the Duleep Trophy final in Coimbatore. By the end of the third day of play, West Zone was 376 to 3, courtesy of Jaiswal’s unbeaten 209 on 244 balls with 23 boundaries and three sixes. West now has a 319 run lead and even if they declare at lunch on day four, they will have five full sessions to force an outright win, although the track will be easier to hit with no significant wear.
For South, it will be about hitting out in the fourth innings and winning the trophy by virtue of having a lead in the first innings.
Jaiswal had a third wicket score of 169 with Shreyas Iyer (71) and another 58 for the unbroken fourth wicket with Sarfaraz Khan (30 at bat).
It was a day that will be best remembered for the duel between two powerhouses in this year’s domestic cricket: left-handed opener Jaiswal and left-handed spinner Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore.
Although Jaiswal had failed in the first innings, he came out with a much more positive intention in the second essay after South was rejected for 327 adding just nine runs to their overnight score of 318/7.
Once West came out, Jaiswal was tough on South pacers Basil Thampi (0/67 in 9 overs) and CV Stephen (0/27 in 6 overs) as he and Priyank Panchal (40) added 110 runs at just under five each. left for the opening post.
South skipper Hanuma Vihari missed the beat when he introduced Sai Kishore (27-5-100-2) as the second substitution after the opening score yielded 80 plus runs.
Panchal was grabbed from Sai Kishore’s bowling alley and Ajinkya Rahane was then held on his leg by off-spinner Gowtham (33-1-139-1).
But the joy of two wickets was short lived as Jaiswal started using his feet to good effect with two spinners in their combined 60 overs for 239 runs, which was almost four runs per over.
He got good support from Iyer, who made up for it, hitting four fours and two sixes before being fired while going for a glory shot from Sai Kishore’s bowling alley. As a result, Iyer missed half a century in the first innings and did not show enough patience to score a hundred in the second inning.
Jaiswal hit off-spinner Gowtham with the turn for a six and didn’t allow Sai Kishore to line up as he repeatedly came off the course to disrupt his line. He also had a six-off Sear Stephen’s bowling.
There were many lines between cover and extra cover and one such shot from Gowtham brought out his double hundred.
It was like letting go of emotions as he let out a war cry when he got a standing ovation from the West locker room.
Short scores: West 270 and 376/3 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 209 batting, Shreyas Iyer 71, R Sai Kishore 2/100, K Gowtham 1/139). South Zone 327 (Baba Indrajith 118, Jaydev Unadkat 4/52).
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