PUDUCHERRY, Sep 10: Talented batter Yash Dhull hit a superb 193 decorated with 28 fours and two sixes to power North Zone to 433 for 3 in their first innings at stumps on day three of the Duleep Trophy quarter-final against East Zone here on Saturday.
Thanks to Dhull’s batting heroics, North Zone have taken a first innings lead of 36 runs with seven wickets in hand, and they are in command in the match.
After a splendid start to his Ranji Trophy career with a century in both innings for Delhi on debut earlier this year against Tamil Nadu, Dhull made his maiden appearance in the prestigious Duleep Trophy a memorable one with a brilliant ton on Saturday. He missed a double ton by just seven runs.
The highly-rated Dhull, who led India to triumph in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, showed his tremendous skills, punishing the East Zone bowlers whenever they erred in line and length.
The 19-year old Dhull faced 243 balls during his stroke-filled innings. He led the North reply as they raced to 100 in the 24th over. He reached to his well-deserved ton from 131 balls with 15 hits to the fence with the team score reading 174 for 1.
He continued to look for runs and found the fence 13 more times in a knock that kept the scoreboard ticking at a brisk pace.
Dhull and Manan Vohra (44) put on 128 runs for the first wicket before Shahbaz Nadeem (1 for 107) got the latter. Dhull then added 192 runs with Dhruv Shorey (81, 163 balls, 9 fours) for the second wicket to bring North closer to the East Zone’s first innings score of 397.
After Dhull was bowled by Manishankar Mura Singh for a marathon 193, Shorey and captain Mandeep Singh (34 batting) shared a 28-run stand before he fell.
Mandeep appeared content to play second fiddle as Himanshu Rana went on the overdrive and rattled up 62 (82 balls, 8 fours) to help North take the lead.
Brief Scores: East Zone 397 all out in 136.4 overs (Virat Singh 117) vs North Zone 433 for 3 in 111 overs (Yash Dhull 193, Dhruv Shorey 81, Himanshu Rana 62 batting; Manan Vohra 44).
West Zone bowlers made to work hard by North East batters
In Chennai, the formidable West Zone bowlers faced unexpected resistance from the North East Zone batters before dismissing them for 235 in 81.5 overs to secure a massive 367-run first innings lead on the third day of the other quarterfinal.
Ankur Malik hit a quickfire 81 while skipper Hokaito Zhimoni and Ashish Thapa made useful contributions to defy the West team, which would have hoped to make short work of their opponents.
West declared at the overnight score of 590 for 2 and the weak North East batting line-up slipped to 20 for 4 quickly as the experienced Jaidev Unadkat (3 for 35) and Chintan Gaja (4 for 38) got down to work.
Unadkat set the ball rolling by dismissing Kishan Lyndoh (2). He had Mohammed Al Bashid caught by Het Patel for a duck off the next delivery but Jonathan Rongsen prevented him from getting a hat-trick.
Jonathan fell a couple of overs later to Gaja and Doria was caught by Ajinkya Rahane off Undakat to leave North East struggling at 20 for 4.
When it looked like the team from the North-East would capitulate swiftly, skipper Zhimoni (32) and Thapa (43) got together. They defied a varied West Zone attack for more than 30 overs with focus on survival rather than scoring.
Zhimoni’s stonewalling effort — lasting 154 balls and 62-run stand with Thapa (143 balls, 4 fours) — ensured that the West bowlers were made to work hard for wickets.
Thapa succumbed to medium-pacer Atit Sheth (2 for 51) as West managed to break the stand. Dippu Sangma (2) did not last long but Ankur Malik (81), who walked in at No.8, was in no mood to defend. He took the attack to the West Zone bowlers and hammered 13 boundaries to infuse some interest into the proceedings.
Malik took a particular liking to bowling of spinner Shams Mulani and smacked him for seven boundaries. His aggression meant that North East went past the 200-run mark. He fell 19 runs short of a ton when Gaja castled him.
West chose to bat a second time despite having taken a mammoth lead with a day’s play remaining.
Earlier, West had amassed 590 for 2 riding on double centuries from Rahane and Yashasvi Jaiswal and a ton from Prithvi Shaw.
Brief Scores: West Zone 590 for 2 in 123 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 228, Ajinkya Rahane 207 not out, Prithvi Shaw 113) and 12 for 1 in 9 overs vs North East Zone 235 all out in 81.5 overs (Ankur Malik 81, Ashish Thapa 43, Hokaito Zhimono 32, Jaydev Unadkat 3/35, Chintan Gaja 4/38). (PTI)