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North in trouble as Nayar gets double ton

Just like the opening day, Day II of the Duleep Trophy semifinal seemed to be going the batsmen’s way, before the West Zone bowlers struck in the last half hour to take three wickets and breathe life into the contest, reports KR Guruprasad.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2010 22:54 IST
KR Guruprasad

Just like the opening day, Day II of the Duleep Trophy semifinal seemed to be going the batsmen’s way, before the West Zone bowlers struck in the last half hour to take three wickets and breathe life into the contest. At stumps, North Zone were 36 for three, in reply to West’s mammoth 769.

Lifeless for a better part of the day, the pitch came alive towards the end, and the North batsmen found Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan difficult to negotiate.

Shikhar Dhawan was caught behind by a splendid one-handed effort by Parthiv Patel off Munaf, Rahul Dewan was trapped leg before by the same bowler and Ravi Inder Singh was sent back by Pathan.

Earlier in the day, Abhishek Nayar carried on from where he had left off on Tuesday. Getting a big score on this lifeless track was never going to be a very difficult task and sensing that, the Mumbai all-rounder avoided playing his aggressive game.

The day, however, started on a promising note for the North bowlers, who got rid of Ravindra Jadeja and Irfan Pathan in the first half of the day.

Nayar and Ramesh Powar then stitched together a 197-run partnership. With the track hardly offering any assistance, the bowlers seemed to have given up the fight and were waiting for the batsmen to make mistakes. But Powar was in no mood to let go of a chance.

However, after reaching his century, the all-rounder perished to a catch at long off. Despite Powar’s dismissal, Nayar stayed on, even as the more accomplished batsmen threw their wickets away.

Compared to his four sixes on the first day, Nayar had just one to his name on the second.

Nayar reaped the benefits of patience when he got to his double hundred with a backfoot punch through cover off Ravi Inder Singh.

Finally, an exhausted Nayar offered a catch to Dhawan at short mid-wicket. But by then, the damage had been done.