Balaji hat-tricks as South Zone claim CK Nayudu Trophy
South Zone clinched the CK Nayudu Under-19 Trophy by virtue of the massive 201-run first innings lead over Central Zone at the Barabati stadium in Cuttack on Tuesday. Tamil Nadu seamer Lakshmipathy Balaji did the star turn with a hat-trick early on the final day to help South bundle out Central for 176 runs in the first innings.
Resuming at 169 for 6, the Central Zone innings lasted just 4.1 overs more. The fourth ball of the third over of the day saw Balaji bowl Chandrashekar Atram for a duck. Sunil Upadhay (0) who replaced Atram was caught behind by Tahir Hussain off the next ball. Naveen Choudhury walked in to thwart Balaji's efforts but he was trapped leg before and Balaji had completed the hat-trick. The innings folded up in Balaji's next over when he shattered the defences of the last batsman H Shitoot (5). Balaji returned figures of 6 for 57.
South Zone could have enforced the follow on but they opted to bat again and piled up 313 runs before being all out shortly before the final draw of stumps. Openers T Suman (47) and Tahir Hussain (10) were off to a flying start adding 42 runs off just 4.2 overs. Tahir was the first to be dismissed, caught behind by Amit Deshpande off Atram. Suman soon followed him caught by Atram off Afroj Khan in the seventh over. Suman who played a steller role needed just 29 balls for his 47 with the innings being studded with nine boundary hits.
Deepak Chougule (38) and Arjun Yadav (26) took the score to 127. Arjun departed next, caught by substitute fielder Jitender off Naveen Choudhury. With only a single added to the total, Chougule fell to the same combination in Choudhury's next over. This brought ASK Verma (18) and Stuart Binny (70) together and they forged a 74-run fifth wicket stand. Binny was the sixth batsman to be dismissed, caught behind off Surender Singh. The South tail wagged considerably to prolong Central's agony. Surender Singh was the most successful bowler for Central Zone with figures of 5 for 53.
South Zone now take on Rest of India in the three day Vinoo Mankad Trophy match in Cuttack. The original dates of the match were February 1 to 3 but the game has since been postponed indefinitely.