Indrajith’s 118 balls from 125, along with contributions from Manish Pandey (48) and Gowtham (43 from 55 balls), saw South finish day two on 318 for seven – 48 points clear of 270 from the first leg of West Zone.
The match proved interesting when South were at 243 for six, but the versatile Gowtham and T Ravi Teja (26) added 63 for the seventh wicket from just 16.2 overs, and in the process overshot the tally of West. .
However, with the final a five-day affair, the South is still far from securing a healthy lead, which may not happen with only Teja remaining among the recognized hitters.
.@IndrajithBaba scored a solid ton on Day 2 of the #DuleepTrophy #Final as the South Zone overtook the West Zone’s first… https://t.co/o5i4ssEs9M
— BCCI domestic (@BCCIdomestic) 1663851336000
He has R Sai Kishore (5/86 in 35.3 overs) for company but the left arm spinner would be happier if he could grab a fifth five for and deny youngster Het Patel (98) a chance to reach the coveted three-digit mark.
Mayank Agarwal pocketed his catch but later when he came to bat he was caught in the slip cord by Yashasvi Jaiswal wide of dressmaker Atit Seth’s delivery.
Hanuma Vihari (25), whose Test hitting slot is online, was then taken up front but Indrajith was more dominant during their 61 stand.
The Tamil Nadu right-hander played some great drives but was equally adept at working on throwing deliveries to his legs.
His first-class 13th cent was 14 fours and the 105-run partnership for the fourth wicket, with the veteran Pandey, put South in charge.
Pandey, who had quickly hit four fours and some sixes, should have converted it into a big score, but Mumbai off-spinner Tanush Kotian casted it two under fifty.
The difference between the two sides was how the spinners fared. While Sai Kishore and Gowtham stifled the run-flow for the South, West’s two Mumbai spinners – the highest Ranji Trophy wicket taker Shams Mulani (0/73 in 14 overs) and Kotian (1/110 in 27 overs) – gave up 183 runs in the 41 overs between them.
Jaydev Unadkat (3/52), the national warhorse did his part and also got plenty of support from former India U-19 Seth, but once Gowtham got into Kotian, slamming him for six successive innings , the first round was there for the taking.
Short scores: West Zone 1st round 270 all out (Het Patel 98, R Sai Kishore 5/86). South Zone 1st Round 318/7 (Baba Indrajith 118, Manish Pandey 48, Krishnappa Gowtham 43, Jaydev Unadkat 3/52, Atit Seth 3/51).