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Westside mauling

india Updated: Jan 31, 2009 23:50 IST
G Krishnan
G Krishnan
Hindustan Times
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Parthiv Patel'S small chance of making the New Zealand tour as the reserve wicketkeeper rapidly diminished as he dropped three catches and missed a stumping in the Duleep semifinal. Patel's substandard show behind the wicket was watched closely by two selectors — East's Raja Venkat and West's Surendra Bhave — but had no bearing on the result as West trounced East by eight wickets with four sessions to spare, and stormed into the Duleep Trophy final.

Admirable outswing bowling by Gujarat's Siddarth Trivedi rattled East and the visitors had no reserve strength to bail them out. Bengal's Manoj Tiwary and Jharkhand's Sourav Tiwary were East's last hope to widen the 17-run advantage that they began Saturday with. But they failed and started East's collapse.

Bowling round the wicket to the left-handed Sourav, Trivedi found the edge of the defensive blade for Patel to collect his 200th first-class dismissal from 54 matches. Switching back to over the wicket, Trivedi produced a gem of an outswinger that forced Manoj to defend and the resulting nick went to Wasim Jaffer at first slip.

Haladhar Das thanked his stars, not once, not twice but thrice. Patel's pathetic display began when he floored Haladhar's first ball, the ball rising sharply and taking the edge. In the next over, two straightforward chances off Dhawal Kulkarni were grassed. However, in the subsequent over, Trivedi consumed Haladhar, caught sharply at slip. Patel's then missed an easy stumping chance against Wriddhiman Saha off Rajesh Pawar.

Had these chances not been fluffed, West could have finished the game earlier