Mithun makes most of rain-marred day
On a day marred by rain, South Zone seamer Abhimanyu Mithun made the most of the helpful conditions in Chennai as he claimed three wickets to disable Central Zone's top order in the second semi-final of the Duleep Trophy. The visitors reached 123 for 5, before play was halted in the afternoon and eventually called off for the day.
Proceedings began over an hour late owing to passing showers and Mithun set about whittling the Central Zone batting line-up, knocking back the stumps of Vineet Saxena and Mohammad Kaif with the score barely in double figures. Mukul Dagar was the only batsman to accumulate any sort of momentum, as he made 45 off 105 balls with six fours.
Pragyan Ojha restored South Zone's control when he broke a 56-run stand for the third wicket between Dagar and Robin Bist. Dagar's resistance ended in the 33rd over but South Zone managed to press their advantage further when Malolan Rangarajan, whose five-for set up his side's entry into the semi-final, ended a promising innings from Naman Ojha, after which rain arrived to put paid to any more play.
Shalabh Shrivastava and captain Piyush Chawla were at the crease and with the weather expected to improve over the next few days, Central Zone have some rebuilding to do.
Rain also struck the first semi-final between North Zone and East Zone in Kochi. Play began only at 4.20pm and 17 overs were bowled. Unmukt Chand and Jiwanjot Singh added 33 runs and ensured there were no casualties for North Zone at the end of day's play.
Things look bleak on the weather front in Kochi for the coming days as well with scattered thunderstorms expected to hit the coastal city.