South Zone v West Zone, Duleep Trophy, 1st day, Chennai October 3, 2013

Aparajith and Pandey revive South Zone

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Zone 213 for 3 (Aparajith 93*, Pandey 81*) v West Zone

An unbeaten 161-run fourth-wicket stand between B Aparajith and Manish Pandey helped South Zone overcome a shaky start and reach a healthy 213 for 3 in the first day of their Duleep Trophy quarter-final clash against West Zone in Chennai. Only 54 overs of play were possible after the start was delayed by nearly three hours due to a wet outfield.

South Zone, choosing to bat, struggled to cope with the seamers early on, and lost the openers Abhinav Mukund and Akshath Reddy off successive overs from Jaydev Unadkat and Murtuja Vahora respectively.

KL Rahul, fresh from a series of impressive performances for the Under-23 team in the Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore, was sent in at No. 3 to provide some stability. However, he was trapped lbw for 6 by Yusuf Pathan in the 16th over, leaving South Zone at 52 for 3.

But Aparajith and Pandey counterattacked by striking a total of 18 fours between them. Pandey had made successive fifties for India Blue in the recently concluded Challenger Trophy and he continued his good form with the bat on Thursday by hitting a 118-ball 81 that included seven fours and a six. He was given ample support at the other end by Aparajith, who hit 11 fours during a patient 93, seven short of what would be his second first-class century.

West Zone captain Wasim Jaffer introduced Rakesh Dhruv, Akshay Darekar and Ankit Bawne all into the mix to break the partnership, but the pair stood firm and survived 38 overs, to give South Zone a solid platform to build on.

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  • Sriram on October 4, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Chand, Zol, Aparajith and Lokesh have a great oppurutnity this Ranji season. Its often when you have made name on U-19 or A tours you start playing with pressure to deliver. All including Sandeep Sharma have shown talent. But the second or third season will determine thier careers. If all above can once again repeat thier stellar performances this year in Ranji it will help them play more A tours and thus both gain experience and show quality. A Kholi or even a Jadeja to some extent were fast tracked and while the former has gone strength to strength, the latter is still yet to keep his foot firm. Sometimes a quick push to international will click other times it can fail. They all have age on thier side. Now they need to make such performances count in domestic level too.

  • Naresh on October 4, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    He is young and will one day don the senior team colours. Let him play more and gain experience. Still amazed at the batsman we produce and yet the pace department remains bare.

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    Aparijit impressed all the learned men of cricket in Australia when he was there as a member of the victorious u 19 team under UNMUKH CHAND.He is continuing to improve and just as VIRAT KOHLI was tracked into the Indian team,he should also be fast tracked.Indian team will have players who have made it to the senior team like KOHLI,SHIKAR DHAWAN,JADEJHA and DINESH KARTHICK tSR GOPALo keep him company.

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    zol doesnt fit into the scheme of things that I want to include Aparajith in, because everyone saw the way he struggled to cope with the seamers in australia. So he needs to prove himself but Aparajith has proven himself in all tracks starting from oz to India.

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2013, 0:37 GMT

    Dilip Aparjith has just one first class hundred there are lot of talented youngsters ahead of him. Even Pandey who has been around for awhile has 9 hundreds and very good average...

  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    Again Aparajith has shown his consistency and class..he needs to be nurtured and supported...he has done what Chand hasnt been able to achieve...only Zol is the other youngster who shud be fast tracked to Senior team

  • Chandra on October 3, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    First get him on the CSK IPL Team and see how he does. That would be good test before India call like everyone else in the recent times.

  • James on October 3, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Aparajith is okay as a batsman, but there are already several of them in the pipeline- even young ones like Zol are far ahead of him. It is as an allrounder that Aparajith really brings value to the team. However his bowling hasnt been too consistent or great yet. Let him fine tune this for at least an year at the first class level, and then we can see whether he is ready or not.

  • Android on October 3, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    Aparajith should be expoded to Intl cricket as soon as possible atleast in the upcoming odis againdt aussies, he looked apart from all those flashy young players around the country.

  • Subramani on October 3, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    I am a firm believer that one has to be ready to play at the highest level. I think Apsrajit is ready. He should be selected for the ODIs straighaway.He is ready and should not be kept waiting. There are others who have been written of so much. I feel they are not yet.

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