NORTH ZONE VS EAST ZONE
East Zone 397
North Zone (13 ov) 65/0
Day 2 – North Zone trail by 332 runs.
North Zone had 65 without loss at stumps after dismissing East Zone for 397, with the gifted Yash Dhull, so easy on the eye and so cultured with his strokes, batting on 35 and Manan Vohra, on 20. The pitch, which has been performing well thus far, could worsen.
Virat will remember the innings for a long time because it put his determination to the test. The left-hander hit with precision and style. Virat batted in such a way that he appeared eager to make an impression in the lengthier format.
And his 77-run fourth-wicket partnership with skipper Manoj Tiwary (27 off 101 balls) was vital since both batsmen made it through the morning session when the ball was swinging around.
Nishant Sindhu, the left-arm spinner, foxed Tiwary in flight and had him caught at covers to give West the breakthrough.
Virat is an appealing batter, whether driving, cutting, and pulling the pacemen or coming down the track to whip the spinners, his reflexes are quick and he has bat-speed.
He was looking good for more when he fell to off-spinner Pulkit Narang’s sweep shot.
Even as North made progress, Shahbaz Ahmed, a wonderful upright striker of the ball with perfect timing through the gaps, took center stage with his stunning 62. (140b, 7×4, x6).
M.B. Mura Singh scored 32 runs while seamer Navdeep Saini and left-arm spinner Sindhu each took three wickets for some steady bowling. The third day of this duel should be decisive.
WEST ZONE VS NORTH EAST ZONE
West Zone (123 ov) 590/2
North East Zone
Day 2 – NE Zone chose to field.
After recovering from a hamstring injury, Ajinkya Rahane made a remarkable return to cricket, scoring a double-century for West Zone versus North East Zone. Rahane, who leads West Zone in the Duleep Trophy quarter-finals, walked out to bat on the second day and was batting at 207 off 264 at stumps.
So far, the right-handed batter has struck 18 boundaries and six sixes in his innings. With two days of play remaining, West Zone is sure to bat for at least one more session, and Rahane will be aiming for his first-class triple-century.
West Zone got off to a strong start thanks to Prithvi Shaw and Yashasvi Jaiswal. The pair accumulated 206 runs for the first wicket before Shaw was dismissed for 113 off 121 balls. Yashasvi, the next great thing, broke the 200-run barrier and was removed for 228 off 321 balls. He and Rahane combined 333 runs for the second wicket.
After Yashasvi was out, Rahul Tripathi joined Rahane and finished the day undefeated on 25. West Zone has trounced its opponents thus far, as they are 590/2 after two days. West Zone will go to the semi-finals if they win or draw. The Rahane-led team should cruise to victory.
North Zone bowled out East Zone for 397 in the second quarter-final. Navdeep Saini and Nishant Sindhu each took three wickets. North Zone openers Yash Dhull and Manan Vohra batted quickly in the last session, and the day ended with 64/0 in 12.4 overs.
All eyes are on Yash, who guided India’s U-19 team to victory at the World Cup earlier this year. The right-handed batsman has 479 runs in three Ranji Trophy matches and will look to emulate that form in the zonal competition.