Duleep Trophy: Rohan Kunnummal, Hanuma Vihari tons put South in command vs North Zone
In the Duleep Trophy cricket competition quarterfinal on Thursday, debutant opener Rohan Kunnummal and captain Hanuma Vihari‘s unbroken hundreds helped South Zone to 324 for 2 at stumps against North Zone.
Choosing to bat, South got off to a strong start with Kunnummal and Agarwal matching each other stroke for stroke (49, 59 balls, 6X4, 1X6).
The first person to achieve the half-century mark was the 24-year-old Keralan Kunnummal as they both added 100. Nishant Sindhu, a spinner, bowled Agarwal, who appeared to be in good form.
Vihari joined the Kerala right-hander in the middle and also played himself in, allowing the inexperienced opener to play his shots. Kunnummal seemed at ease in the middle and hit some attractive drives.
Every time the spinners made a line or length error, Kunnummal cashed in.
The pair’s partnership of 167 runs demoralised the North Zone bowlers. Vihari raised his 50 points from 108 balls.
With some beautiful shots and a big six to the ground, Kunnummal reached his tonne off 172 deliveries. When he was dropped off Nishant Sindhu’s bowling on 77, it was a stroke of luck that he survived a chance.
While the skipper also seemed to step up the pace of scoring, he kept getting runs. Pacer Navdeep Saini shattered the enormous stand between Vihari and Kunnummal by bowling the latter for 143.
16 fours and two sixes were scattered across his 225-ball innings.
The tonne maintained Kunnummal’s impressive run, which included three hundreds in the Ranji Trophy previous season.
On his side, Vihari did what came naturally to him; he bided his time and waited for the poor balls to be scored off.
At stumps, he was on 107 and had company from Tamil Nadu batter B Indrajith, who was on 20.
Brief scores: South Zone 324 for 2 in 90 overs (Rohan Kunnummal 143, Hanuma Vihari 107 not out, Mayank Agarwal 49) vs North Zone.
Central Zone reduces West to 252 for 9
In Coimbatore, left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya Singh claimed five wickets to reduce the powerful West Zone squad to 252 for 9 at stumps on the first day of the other semifinal match versus Central Zone.
The formidable West batting line-up did not quite live up to its reputation. Despite entering the game having amassed a significant score against North East Zone in the quarterfinal.
Captain of the Central Zone Karan Sharma elected to field after winning the toss.
Prithvi Shaw scored a fast 60 (78 balls, 10 fours). And had a 57-run stand with Rahul Tripathi for the third wicket. Despite losing opening partner Yashasvi Jaiswal for a duck (64 batting, 137 balls, 5 fours, 1 six).
Tripathi and Armaan Jaffer (23) also had a partnership of 50 runs. But the Central zone continued to strike frequently to restrain the West hitters.
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) September 15, 2022
Gaurav Yadav defeated skipper Ajinkya Rahane leg-before for eight points despite hitting a double tonne in the quarterfinal.
Before hammering a delivery from Karan Sharma (1 for 32) directly into the palms of Aniket Choudhary, Jaffer appeared to be in good shape.
Tanish Kotian (36) and all-arounder Shams Mulani (41) made helpful contributions, but it didn’t seem to be enough.
Among the wickets taken out by Kartikeya Singh were Atit Sheth, Shaw, Kotian, Het Patel, and also Jaydev Unadkat. His outstanding effort caused the West’s batting order to stumble.
When stumps drawn, Tripathi and Chintan Gaja (5 batting) were at the wicket.
Brief scores: West Zone 252 for 9 in 82 overs (Rahul Tripathi 64 batting, Prithvi Shaw 60, Shams Mulani 41, Kumar Kartikeya Singh 5 for 66) vs Central Zone.