Duleep Trophy, semi-finals, 3rd day October 16, 2012

Bhuvneshwar leads Central Zone fightback

ESPNcricinfo staff

Central Zone 442 for 9 (Bhuvneshwar 120*, Rawat 71, Mishra 4-151) trail North Zone 451 (Yuvraj 208, Dhawan 121, Praveen 4-92, Kartik 4-120) by nine runs

In a sustained fightback, Bhuvneshwar Kumar carried Central Zone to within 10 runs of making the Duleep Trophy final with his maiden first-class hundred that was largely made in the company of the tail in Hyderabad.

Bhuvneshwar, the 21-year old Uttar Pradesh allrounder, came in at No. 8 with Central Zone trailing North Zone by 232. Thirty-two runs later, he lost his partner, wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat, who had made 71, and had put on 102 for the sixth wicket with captain Mohammad Kaif (63).

At that stage, North Zone were three wickets away from a place in the final, with a comfortable lead of 200. But Bhuvneshwar found support from all the following batsmen - Praveen Kumar, Murali Kartik and Rituraj Singh. He added 42 and 49 for the eighth and ninth wickets with Praveen (27) and Kartik (22).

Central Zone were still trailing by 109, though, when legspinner Amit Mishra had Kartik caught by Yuvraj Singh to claim his fourth wicket. But North were to end the day in an ultimately futile search for the last wicket, as Bhuvneshwar and Rituraj thwarted them for more than 100 minutes in a partnership that is now worth an even 100 in just 21.5 overs.

In an innings that had now lasted more than four hours, Bhuvneshwar faced 225 deliveries, and struck 12 fours and three sixes. He batted smartly with the tail, even refusing three singles when he was on 99 to shield the last man Rituraj. North Zone did not help their cause by setting extremely defensive fields for Bhuvneshwar. During the closing moments of the day's play, they had as many as nine men in the deep, allowing Bhuvneshwar to effortlessly farm the strike. Rituraj played his role by denying North Zone off the 38 deliveries he faced.

North Zone were also generous with the extras, bowling 25 no-balls. Fifteen of those came from Mishra alone, who should have been called many more times had the umpire seen that he was cutting the return crease repeatedly with his back foot.

East Zone 267 and 129 for 6 (Behera 60, Binny 2-25) lead South Zone 244 (Vinay 61, Verma 49, Samantray 3-41, Saxena 3-37) by 152 runs

South Zone hit back after conceding a small first-innings lead in Visakhapatnam as they picked up six East Zone wickets in the second innings to increase the possibility of the game having an outright result on the fourth and final day tomorrow.

Natraj Behera, the East Zone captain, was the only batsman to resist South Zone. Behera made 60 before becoming the first of allrounder Stuart Binny's two victims. Binny stunned East Zone four deliveries after dismissing Behera when he had the first-innings centurion Saurabh Tiwary caught for a duck. East Zone were reduced to 98 for 4 from 98 for 2. They lost two more wickets by stumps, leaving Biplab Samantray as the last recognized batsman to add to an overall lead of 152.

Earlier, South Zone added 110 to their overnight score of 134 for 5 with captain Vinay Kumar making 61 at No. 8 and putting on 65 for the seventh wicket with Amit Verma (49).

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  • roshan on October 17, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    @ chetan: There are really a lot of quality players in the domestic circuit. They are avoided till the date. We had great players like Akash chopra, Vikram rathour,R singh they could nt get any chance in indian team when they performed well. This fate should not come to these players also. Nowadays there are plenty of matches these players like murali vijay, jalaj saxena,bhuvanesh kumar, vinay kumar should get enough chances. Their record at different levels really tells the fact they have the courage and conviction to play at international level. Murali vijay and chetheswar pujara are the future players no doubt about it. They would be able to face any fast bowlers and spin bowlers they faced whether it is macgrath,parnell,shane whatson, jacques kallis, lasit malinga, hilfenaus,bolinger or umar gul. jalaj saxena and bhuvanesh kumar played many tournaments outside india they performed well. vinay kumar no doubt he is a wicket taking bowler. after all great team effort required.

  • Pramod on October 17, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    Sad to see North giving up just like that.. they know they need to win to get into finals.. should've sent yuvi at 3 and tried to score real fast.. may be some 240 in 40 overs and asked Central to bat again.. and seee how things go... this sort of using the innings for bating practice and lack of pro activeness is quite sad to see... reflects the kind of captaincy materials that is going around in the country.. i cant think of any state captain in india who would've taken that kind of risk... sad...

  • Chetan on October 17, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    @rosh280: The worst t20 team i had ever seen. What the hell Murli Vijay, Sunny Singh,Jalaj Saxena, B. Kumar and Vinay Kumar doing there. Neither of the above were a quality batsmen nor able to threaten any batting line up. See how vijay bats against quality bowling outside the subcontinent. What's special in the bowling of Vinay, neither pace nor swing. Other player were not upto average to even make a cut to the Indian side.The pitch is completely a batting track. There was nothing for the bowlers but the score makes everyone happy and the resume of some of the most ridiculous players more powerful. Stop asking for ridiculous players in the team.

  • Dummy4 on October 17, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    i dont know why BCCI showing domestic cricket match in espnHD. domestic matches should show in espn or star sports.

  • Ram on October 16, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    Totally surprised at the number of extras bowled by NZ and more so to see that Amit Mishra has bowled 15 No balls. I don't any other spinner in the world has bowled that many in their whole career let alone in a single match. This is ridiculous bowling.

  • roshan on October 16, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    my team for 20-20 would be 1. murali vijay 2. manvinder bisla 3. r g sharma 4. suresh raina 5. dhoni 6. jalaj saxena/ b kumar 7. sunny singh 8. virat kohli 9. aswin 10.praveenkumar/ vinay kumar 11. yuvraj singh.12.ishant sharma/ sreesanth

  • roshan on October 16, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Yuvraj has really shown he has the fitness with his double century. With that b kumar, jalaj saxena, praveen kumar, vinay kumar all performed well. i really dont know why north zone did not play sunny singh. indian side really look for a very good wicket keeper batsman manvinder bisla, naman ojha, pinal shah are the real choice. this time my favourite choice would be manvinder bisla. he can open the innings with murali vijay. even kevin petersen, ricky ponting and maccullum had said bisla is a great find. we need to find batsman of that calibre in opening with murali vijay. dhoni should bat at no 4 position with suresh raina.

  • roshan on October 16, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    It is a great feat that bhuvaneshkumar scored century at a great time. he is a great alrounder along with jalaj saxena performed lot of matches continously for atleast 3 years. this time b kumar, jalaj saxena, sunny singh can get the nod in indian team. they bowl perfect line and field well. these 3 players along with praveen kumar and vinay kumar will really get the attention of sandeep patil.

  • Sanjay on October 16, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    It says something about the quality of Indian bowlers when a #8 batsman with no FC hundreds prior to this game hits an unbeaten 120. The opposition attacks consists of Ishant (who opened the bowling for the national team Down Under), a supposedly upcoming young leg spinner (Rahul Sharma), an upcoming seamer in Awana (altho he's bowled OK in this game) and "Test bowler" Amit Mishra. Let's hope Mishra's 4 wickets don't propel him back into the national team. This game also says a lot for the state of domestic wickets. We will never produce a quality attack at this rate.

  • Sanjay on October 16, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    I see that Ishant Sharma is back to "form". Opening the innings and failing to take a wicket, way to go Ishant. The other Sharma (Rahul) has had a hopeless game too. Central could win on 1st inns here, assuming they use this rule in the Duleeps.

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