Blame it on the lack of significance attached to domestic cricket in India,or simply the enormity of the Indian Premier League. But it wasnt comments about West Zones commanding position,or South Zones poor start that were sought from Wasim Jaffer and S Badrinath during the routine media briefings at the end of the second days play in the Duleep Trophy final at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
The two skippers,instead,were asked about the newcomers signed by their respective IPL teams at the end of a day West dominated. South Zone crawled to 106/4 in reply to Wests first innings score of 459,and are still a mammoth 353 behind. Ajinkya Rahane,with useful contributions from the lower order,frustrated the hosts,before the Pawar-Powar combine struck telling blows late in the day to leave South struggling. At stumps,captain Badrinath was fighting a lone battle on an unbeaten 54.
On the back of his six-wicket haul against East,Rajesh Pawar settled into his spell very quickly,and managed to create a number of doubts for the South openers. He struck in the first over after tea,dismissing Murali Vijay,who edged a spinning delivery into Parthiv Patels gloves. The diminutive Baroda left-arm spinner then snared the prize wicket of Rahul Dravid,beating him in flight and having him caught at second slip by Kedar Jadhav.
Karnataka captain Robin Uthappa began cautiously and seemed to find his rhythm,but came down the track and and yorked himself against Ramesh Powar. Nightwatchman M Suresh was run out to complete Souths nightmare.
West Zone 1st innings (overnight 303/5):
P Patel lbw b Ashwin 27,W Jaffer b Jakati 69,A Rahane lbw b Ashwin 165,C Pujara lbw b Ashwin 14,B Thakker c Dravid b Sreesanth 73,A Nayar c Karthik b Sreesanth 0,S Trivedi lbw b Jakati 23,K Jadhav c Karthik b Suresh 47,R Pawar c Dravid b Sreesanth 18,R Powar run out (sub) Prem 12,D Kulkarni not out 0; Extras (b 4,w 1,nb 6) 11,Total (all out; 141.4 overs) 459; FoW: 1-55,2-132,3-163,4-297,5-303,6-360,7-397,8-424,9-455; Bowling: Sreesanth 26.2-5-108-3,Vinay 6.4-1-20-0,Ashwin 48-9-134-3,Suresh 24.4-5-94-1,Jakati 29-6-83-2,Badrinath 3-0-8-0,Uthappa 4-1-8-0
South Zone 1st innings: R Uthappa b Powar 32,M Vijay c Patel b Pawar 10,
S Badrinath batting 54,R Dravid c Jadhav
b Pawar 5,M Suresh run out (Pawar/Powar) 0,D Karthik batting 5; Extras 0; Total (4 wickets; 38 overs) 106; FoW: 1-28,2-71,
3-92,4-94; Bowling: Kulkarni 9-3-23-0,Trivedi 10-1-22-0,Pawar 10-4-36-2,Powar 9-1-25-1