Duleep Trophy: North Zone Thrash North-East Zone By 511 Runs To Reach Semifinals
North Zone will be up against South Zone from July 5 and in the other last four match Central Zone will face West Zone
North Zone drove their dominance over the last four days to its logical conclusion, mowing down North East Zone by 511 runs to book their berth in the Duleep Trophy semifinals on Saturday. Chasing a mammoth 666 to win, North East were bundled out for 154 in their second innings after resuming from their overnight 58 for 3. In the semifinals, North will be up against South Zone under Mayank Agarwal from July 5 and in the other last four match Central Zone will face West Zone.
However, the fourth day started with North East offering that tiny bit of resistance through the fifth wicket pair of Palzor Tamang and Nilesh Lamichaney.
Palzor (40, 82 balls, 4x4, 1x6) and Nilesh (27, 64 balls, 4x4) fought through the first hour with the help of grit and fortune.
In fact, they were quite assured against the North pacers, raising 57 runs between them. It was the North East's highest partnership in this match. There were those inevitable play-and-misses but both the batters showed enough pluck to remain in the middle.
North remained patient through this passage as they knew one wicket would take them to the North East late order.
That moment came when Nishant Sindhu snapped the growing alliance. The left-arm spinner dismissed Nilesh to reduce North East to 101 for 4.
Sindhu was later adjudged man of the match for his 150 in the first innings and a two-wicket haul in the second innings to boot with.
Off-spinner Pulkit Narang too soon found himself in the wicket-taker's list as Palzor's prod ended in the hands of Ankit Kumar at slip cordon.
North East slipped to 117 for 5 and they did not have the experience to fight back from that point against a good quality bowling unit.
But they will go back home richer by the experience of playing against a much superior team and it will benefit this young outfit in the long run.