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Robin sends North packing

india Updated: Jan 31, 2009 23:47 IST
Bivabasu Kumar
Bivabasu Kumar
Hindustan Times
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South Zone inched closer to a spot in the Duleep final, taking a handsome lead over North in the semifinal at Rajkot. Resuming on 172 for 3, North were all out for 300 before lunch, and South piled on the misery, putting 319 second-innings runs on the board to take their overall lead to 567, rendering the final day virtually inconsequential.

Having lost three crucial wickets on Friday, it wasn't going to be easy for North to claw back into the game and a spate of injuries further torpedoed their hopes.

Overnight batsmen Sunny Sohal and Uday Kaul were off to a flier on Saturday but the latter departed in the 11th over having made a quickfire 40 off 63 balls. S Bandekar forced an edge off Kaul's flashing blade and Dinesh Karthik made no mistake behind the stumps. The South wicketkeeper had spilled a catch in the seventh over off Sohal on 35 and it proved costly as the burly Punjab batsman smashed a 99-ball 94.

Sohal was the top scorer for North, who batted with only nine men with Rajat Bhatia and Virat Kohli absent injured. While Kohli had pulled his right shoulder while fielding on the first day, Bhatia complained of a back spasm after the second day's play.