South Zone v West Zone, Duleep Trophy, 2nd day, Chennai October 4, 2013

Pandey, Aparajith slam double-hundreds

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Zone 553 for 7 (Pandey 213, Aparajith 212) v West Zone

Manish Pandey and B Aparajith slammed double-hundreds to help South Zone reach a mammoth 553 for 7 at the end of the second day against West Zone in the Duleep Trophy quarter-final in Chennai. The two batsmen were not very far from their hundreds at the start of the day and while it was the third first-class double-hundred for Pandey, Aparajith went past 200 for the first time as 98 overs were bowled after a curtailed first day. Aparajith became only the fourth batsman to score a double-century on a Duleep Trophy debut after Mohammad Azaharuddin, Sanjay Manjrekar and Rakesh Parikh.

Pandey was retired hurt on the score of 104 and Aparajith was joined by wicketkeeper CM Gautam, who was trapped lbw by left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar for a duck. Rohan Prem and Aparajith put on 91 for the fifth wicket, out of which Prem made 35 before he was dismissed by Murtuja Vahora. Pandey rejoined Aparajith at the team score of 333 and both batsmen then put on another 140 runs for the sixth wicket.

Their partnership was ended by a run-out when substitute fielder Harshad Khadiwale dismissed Aparajith for 212 after he had struck 17 fours and a six. Pandey crossed the score of 200 soon after but fell short of his highest score of 218 by five runs when he was given lbw to Rakesh Dhurv. Malolan Rangarajan and captain Vinay Kumar saw them till stumps with unbeaten contributions of 26 and 19, respectively. West Zone used seven different bowlers but none apart from Vahora could take more than one wicket.

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  • Subramani on October 5, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    Actually, when Aparjith came into the limelight a couple or so years ago, he looked to be a fairly good off spin bowler. At that stage, I had believed that he might be the next good spin bowler from Tamil Nadu. But what I saw later was that his batting started improving while his bowling suffered. I suppose that is because he has been getting more recognition for his batting exploits at the U 19 and other levels. What must be remembered is that after he has polished his batting skilld, he needs to go to someone like Prasanna to understand the subtleties of an off spin bowler and then practice this regularly. I am sure he will regain this aspect of his immense all round abilities. The thing which I find most impressive about him is the equanimity he seems to possess and the quiet confidence. It augurs well for India that here is a player who has the temperament for Test cricket. In fact he should be given a chance at the earliest in some format.

  • TR on October 4, 2013, 23:40 GMT

    Aparajith hasn't been getting the chances as much as Unmukt Chand esp in the T20 forms. But then Dhoni would never change his playing 11 even after many failures of individual players. Hope Aparajith gets the required opportunities.

  • James on October 4, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    Both these guys are obviously talented, but one needs to look at the poor quality of west zone bowling. Only Dhruv has some talent, but even he would be ineffective on the first day. All those who are clamouring for Aparajith to be included in the national side, would do well to compare his first class figures with other comparable "all rounders' For instance Aparajith has a batting average of 34 and a bowling average of over 90. As compared to this, Rishi Dhawan has a batting average of 42 and a bowling average of 23. Let the boy play for at least an year in the Ranji and peform and learn. Lets not judge it only on a "regional" basis. Statistics provide a far more objective view.

  • Steve on October 4, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Just wonder what kind of wkts are prepared for these matches? How much do these double hundreds stack up to international standards? If they are worth anything, then Ind has nothing to worry for SA tour. These 2 batsmen should walk into the team. Bye bye Gamhir, Shewag!

  • Arun on October 4, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    No surprises here. Aparajith is one of the brightest talents in the country, minus the hype. He should be playing against the WI - A team but looks like he missed out, as many seniors had to be accommodated there. Very happy for Pandey too. It is time for him to start delivering consistently on the bigger stage and the longer formats.

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