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Duleep Trophy: Vyshak Vijaykumar Claims Fifer as South Zone on Course to Chase Down 215

Vyshak Vijaykumar (Pic Credit: Sportzpics)

Vyshak Vijaykumar (Pic Credit: Sportzpics)

From a relatively comfortable 146 for three, Vyshak’s (5/76 in 15 overs) burst with the old ball found North Zone slumping to 171 for 8

Pacer Vyshak Vijaykumar engineered a middle-order collapse with a five-wicket haul, putting South Zone on course towards the victory target of 215 in their Duleep Trophy semi-final against North Zone here on Friday.

From a relatively comfortable 146 for three, Vyshak’s (5/76 in 15 overs) burst with the old ball found North Zone slumping to 171 for 8 before they were bowled out for 211 in just 56.4 overs in their second innings on a rain hit day three.

Before heavens opened up in the final session, South Zone openers B Sai Sudharsan (3 batting) and seasoned Mayank Agarwal (15 batting) knocked off 21 off the target and would hope that weather doesn’t play spoilsport on the final day.

The South Zone batters would also like to remember that they had conceded a slender but a very important three-run lead in the first innings, which could be decisive on the final day in case they don’t get time to chase down the target.

At the start of the day, another Karnataka pacer Vidwath Kaverappa (2/47 in 17 overs) got Ankit Kalsi (29) to nick one to Ricky Bhui behind the stumps.

But the supremely talented Prabhsimran Singh (63 off 93 balls) and Haryana man Ankit Kumar (29) did make amends with a 85-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Just as North stood on the cusp of 150-run overall lead, Vyshak bowled what could potentially be a game-changing spell with the old ball.

He had a well-set Prabhsimran caught by R Sai Kishore and then removed Jayant Yadav and Pulkit Narang in a space of three deliveries.

A few overs later, the dangerous Nishant Sindhu was accounted for and there was no way that North could have made a comeback.

Harshit Rana (38 off 36 balls), who also had an impressive cameo in the first innings, did use the long handle to good effect to take the total past 200-run mark.

While North Zone couldn’t get a breakthrough on the day, they would feel encouraged by the fact that South, after cruising during better part of the first innings, faltered badly to concede the first innings lead.

A lot will depend on how North skipper Jayant Yadav and his off-spin partner Pulkit Narang fare on the final day and whether they can get some assistance off the surface.

Not having a single left-arm spinner could hurt their cause, especially if they had witnessed how R Sai Kishore of South Zone (3/28 in 7.4 overs) performed.

Brief Scores: North Zone 195 and 211 in 56.4 overs (Prabhsimran Singh 63, Vyshak Vijaykumar 5/76). South Zone 195 and (target 215) 21/0.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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