Duleep Trophy semi-finals, 2013, 4th day October 12, 2013

Ojha leads South Zone to final

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pragyan Ojha led South Zone into the final of the Duleep trophy with a six-wicket haul that downed Central Zone by an innings and 38 runs in Chennai.

A lead of 258 proved more than enough cushion for Ojha to undo the Central Zone top-order. Robin Bist nicked to the keeper in the 34th over, becoming the first of four wickets in eight overs - and Ojha picked up all of them. Vineet Saxena was among the batsmen dismissed, but not before he had collected 67 runs off 128 balls with 10 fours.

Piyush Chawla's counterattack stood between South Zone and an outright victory, but his 56-ball 73 only delayed the inevitable. Offspinner B Aparajith broke the 87-run eighth-wicket partnership between Chawla and Imtiaz Ahmed - the highest of the innings - and added a second wicket when Shrikant Wagh holed out an over later. With Mohammad Kaif unavailable to bat, because of a sore right ankle, Ojha had the last man Umesh Yadav caught by Aparajith to complete the victory.

South Zone will be boosted by the presence of Dinesh Karthik and Stuart Binny for the final, due to begin on October 17. Karthik will take the place of batsman Rohan Prem, who had injured his hand while fielding, while Binny has been named in place of medium-pacer Sandeep Warrier.

The other semi-final between North Zone and East Zone was pushed into the reserve day after persistent rain, on the fourth day, forced play to be abandoned without a ball being bowled. East Zone are 32 for 1 after 14 overs, still 559 runs behind, and should the first-innings remain incomplete at the end of the game, the winner will be decided by a coin toss.

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  • sid on October 14, 2013, 1:13 GMT

    @Chitra You are correct, historically Chennai pitch has been assisting spin, but lately it has been assisting pace as well. In this match, due to overcast conditions (Thanks to Cyclone Phailin), the pace blower 'Mithun' had some assistance and he was taking advantage of it, but unfortunately the captain had other ideas.

  • sid on October 13, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    @Chitra Ashwin Really? You got to be kidding me. In that last T20I you are referring to Ashwin gave away 41 runs in 2 overs! In this match 2nd innings Mithun gave away a total of 2 runs in 4 overs. So, you tell me who should have gotten more overs to bowl? The batsmen were clearly uncomfortable playing Mithun. They had every reason to be, because Mithun had got both Dagar and Saxena's wickets in the 1st innings. The south zone captain clearly refused to acknowledge this. Perhaps he had other motives?

  • Dummy4 on October 13, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    I disagree with you Mr.Timekilleer. The Chennai pitch always assist spin, so there is nothing wrong in giving adequate overs to spin. Of courze Mithun is a very good bowler. How abojt Ojha Is he from TN. Please do not give anih color1 to the Captain's decisions. Ashwin did not get his full quota of 4 overs in the recent 20/20 because he gave too many runs That does'nt mean Dhoni was wrong. Be sportive. Kashinath

  • sid on October 13, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    Abhimanyu Mithun was given very few overs to bowl, even though he was bowling extremely well in both innings. 14-5-29-3-2.07 in first innings, that too he got the 3 top order batsmen out (two were bowled), but then the captain Abhnav Mukund did not give him any further overs. In the 2nd innings Mithun got only 4 overs, 4-3-2-0-0.50 in spite of being the best strike bowler for South Zone. I wonder if this was intentional? Mukund a TN player, did not want 'Mithun' a Karnataka player to shine in Duleep Trophy? If that is true, then this is very unfortunate indeed.

  • Vivek on October 13, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    Well done boys..winning within 4 days is always difficult..but all round effort did it..especially ojha was brilliant..so in final with addition of DK and binny south looks formidable...all the best guys..

  • venkatasubramanian on October 13, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    South Zone played extremely well to win the semi-final match of Duleep Trophy against Central Zone.It was a creditable performance by the winning team.

  • ESPN on October 13, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    Well done Aparajith.Sad that Rohan prem and Sandeep couldnt utilize the chance and both are not in the squad for finals.I guess they should select Jagadeesh as he is available.

  • Senthil on October 13, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    South Zone had completed a wonderful Innings win despite rain curtailments. I think A Mukund, Baba Aparajith, Manish Pandey and P Ojha all played well. With the addition of DK and Binny I think South will be the toughest team to beat in the final. Let see.