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West set South a daunting task

In the not-too-distant past, South Zone had high-quality spinners who were match-winners in their own right. No, not the Prasanna-Chandrasekhar-Venkataraghavan era, but the generation after them, reports G Krishnan.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2009 23:11 IST
G Krishnan

In the not-too-distant past, South Zone had high-quality spinners who were match-winners in their own right. No, not the Prasanna-Chandrasekhar-Venkataraghavan era, but the generation after them.

The hearts of Venkatapathy Raju, Kanwaljit Singh, Arshad Ayub (Hyderabad), M. Venkatramana, Sunil Subramaniam, Diwakar Vasu (Tamil Nadu), Raghuram Bhat, Anil Kumble, Sunil Joshi, still going strong, (from Karnataka) and Kerala's B. Ramprakash and K N Ananthapadmanabhan would be bleeding looking at the way the present South spinners have bowled here. They have relished bowling on similar tracks and have bowled out the opposition twice in no time, again and again.

However, the next-generation South spinners, offie R. Ashwin, left-arm Shadab Jakati and leggie M. Suresh seem to have no clue.

Riding atop the ill-equipped South bowling, West halted their second innings at 417 for eight, five minutes after lunch on Day Four, leaving South to chase 678. South were 232 for three at stumps after Robin Uthappa (94) and Murali Vijay (63) gave them a sound start (165 runs).

Uthappa was more aggressive, hooking Siddarth Trivedi and stepping down the track to spinners for maximum results.

But when both fell in successive overs, and Dravid too was bowled soon after by Powar, South were staring at a certain defeat.

West, in the last hour of the day, picked up three wickets in the space of 15 deliveries for two runs.

On a turning track, spinners need to bowl in the right areas, without having to do much. Effective spinners read the conditions and do just that little bit that catch the batsmen unawares. Unfortunately, South’s threesome could just not stop West's march.

West batsmen adapted admirably. They played with the turn and danced down the track to unsettle the spinners. Ajinkya Rahane did it in both the innings and Parthiv Patel showed the way on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday morning, when he resumed on 64 after retiring hurt last evening due to cramps.

For South, Badrinath and Uthappa handled the spinners well.

Scoreboard

West Zone 1st innings: 459

South Zone 1st innings: 199

West Zone 2nd innings (overnight 232 for 4): P. Patel c Uthappa b Ashwin 131, A. Nayar c Badrinath b Jakati 44, K. Jadhav c Dravid b Ashwin 16, R. Pawar not out 50, R. Powar c Vijay b Suresh 7, D. Kulkarni not out 8 .

Extras (b-9, lb-2, w-1) 12

Total (for 8 wkts. decl) 417

Fall of wkts: 4-228, 5-274, 6-298, 7-383, 8-396.

Bowling: Sreesanth 14-2-59-2, Uthappa 3-0-12-0, Ashwin 30-4-121-2, Jakati 17-0-67-1, Suresh 17-1-93-2, Badrinath 9-1-38-1, M. Vijay 2-0-16-0.

South Zone 2nd innings: M. Vijay c Patel b Powar 63, Uthappa c Trivedi b Pawar 94, S. Badrinath batting 35, Dravid b Powar 0, D. Karthik batting 27. Extras (b-12, nb-1) 13

Total (for 3 wkts) 232

Fall of wkts: 1-165, 2-167, 3-167. Bowling: Kulkarni 8-0-51-0, Trivedi 10-2-37-0, Pawar 14-0-74-1, Powar 16-6-54-2, Nayar 2-0-4-0.