On a comeback path, Ajinkya Rahane and Yashasvi Jaiswal hammered double centuries as West Zone put a pedestrian North East Zone assault to the sword by collecting 590 for two in their Duleep Trophy quarterfinal in Chennai on Friday. Rahane (207 batting) and Jaiswal (228) played with the North East bowling lineup, adding 333 runs for the second wicket. The classy Rahane, who has played many a memorable battle in the Test arena, seemed to enjoy the center hit as he feasted on the North East bowling. Rahane was not known for being a six-hitter, but sent six over the rope aside from his 22 fours to stamp his authority on the second day.
Earlier in the day, Prithvi Shaw was the first man to be sacked by the opposition team when spinner Ankur Malik had him caught behind him by Ashish Thapa for a solid 113. He had bet 206 for the opening wicket with Jaiswal.
The duo resumed overnight with 116 losses, adding 90 more runs in quick time and picking up where they left off on a rainy opening day.
After getting a reprieve on 80, Shaw advanced his barrel with a shot to the point area, before falling to Ankur Malik against the course of the game.
Rahane, who needs runs to mount a return to the Test side, made sure that the woes of the bowlers of the Northeast continued. The stylish right-handed batter appeared to be enjoying his time in the center and, in the company of the talented Jaiswal, waded into the opposing team’s bowling.
Jaiswal also got a reprieve when Malik dropped a catch from his own bowling. However, the duo kept getting runs at will and Jaiswal reached his double century in 281 balls.
Jonathan Rongsen, bowling off spin ended Jaiswal’s stay in the crease when he was caught by Bishworjit Singh for 228.
Rahul Tripathi (25 at bat) joined Rahane in the middle and made it 51 runs in short order.
Shaw said at the end of the game that it was special to score the century and added that despite the weak bowling attack it was important to stay focused.
“I think it was special for me because after so much training and giving myself time, good to score a century.” He also tried to downplay the inexperienced bowling attack, saying: “To be honest, if they’re playing this kind of level, they must have done something. They have potential, that’s why they’re playing here.
“The first 20-25 overs bowl well. Obviously Yash (Jaiswal) and Ajju bhai get those doubles (centuries)… I think you only need one ball to get out. We have to focus and prepare for it. ” Asked how important this domestic season was to him after being on the sidelines of the national team a few seasons ago, Shaw said: “I feel every game is important to me. I’m a man who is a team man. If the opportunity comes, I’ll try to seize it.” Short Scores: West Zone 590 for 2 in 123 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 228, Ajinkya Rahane 207 batting, Prithvi Shaw 113) vs North East Zone.
Virat Singh Ton helps East Zone to 397 vs North
At Puducherry, young Yash Dhull (35 at bats) and Manan Vohra (20 at bats) led a strong answer from the North Zone, going to 65 without a loss after East Zone posted 397 in their first innings, in the other quarterfinal.
East Zone resumed 179 for three overnight, riding a fine century through Virat Singh (117) and a 62 through all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed to reach a total of 397 in the first innings.
After captain Manoj Tiwary (27) fell to Nishant Sindhu after scoring 77 runs with Virat Singh, Singh and Shahbaz Ahmed’s contribution enabled East to put down a competitive total.
For North, hard-working pacemaker Navdeep Saini and left-arm spinner Nishant Sindhu took three wickets each, which went a long way to ensure East didn’t break the 400 mark.
Dhull, who led India to the title win in the Under-19 ICC World Cup earlier this year, showed his class with a fit of limits in his battle of 35 to lead the North Zone riposte.
Short scores: East Zone 397 all out in 136.4 overs (Virat Singh 117, Shahbaz Ahmed 62, Sudip Kumar Gharami 68, Nishant Sindhu 3 for 64, Navdeep Saini 3 for 83) vs North Zone (Yash Dhull 35-batting).
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