Duleep Trophy: Mayank Agarwal scores half-century in South-North match

When it was their turn, the South Zone had a chance to increase their totals, but they crunched under constant pressure from North Zone bowlers.

South started the day at 63 for 4, leading by 198 after North’s first inning.

It was a nervous situation, but the presence of Mayank Agarwal and N Tilak Varma, who started with 37 and 12 points, respectively, should have boosted South’s optimism about increasing the score.

It wasn’t entirely unfounded, either. The fifth-wicket pair, who combined when South led 35-4, countered with aplomb against a sharp attack that took full advantage of the overcast conditions.

There were some lucky moments, too, when some edges missed fielders or the ball escaped the bat with a minimal lead.

But they were still strong enough to score 110 runs, which helped South score 145 and come within striking distance of North’s total points.

Mayank was the dominant partner in this alliance, and not surprisingly so. The Karnataka batsman was the highest-scoring player in the 2022-23 Ranji Trophy season, scoring 990 runs in 13 innings.

Mayank made a quick fifty, and in the first session of the day, he scored 30 runs off 49 balls, making four fours.

If this inning can be considered an indicator, the 32-year-old could have another season with more runs in the domestic arena.

Tilak, on the other hand, was compact in his estimation.After left-arm middle pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla scored five wickets against Central Zone on day two of the Dulip Trophy semifinal here Thursday, their contrasting half-centers completely controlled West Zone play.

At halftime, the West Zones reached 149 for 3 in the second essay, increasing their overall lead to 241 points.

This came after Shivam Mavi (6/44) quickly ended West Zone’s first inning with a score of 220, adding just four runs to their nightly score.

But the joy was short-lived, as Nagwaswalla, who went on a 2021 tour of England as a pure bowler with the Indian senior team, pitched 5/74 for 14.3 ounces to destroy the Central Zone with a score of 128 in just 31.3 ounces.

Despite being beaten on goal, he always managed to make a spurt at the right moment, allowing him to take five wickets in first-class cricket for the sixth time.

147251Aside from Dhruv Jurel (46) and his UP teammate Rinku Singh (48), none of Central’s other batters could even get past the 15-point mark, and seven of them were dismissed before reaching double digits.

Encouraged by a 92-hit lead in the first inning, West’s players performed much better, as Pujara remained undefeated at 50 of 103 with five strikeouts at the end of game day two.

However, Suryakumar’s 52 points (58 balls) with eight fours and a six could have given West a decisive advantage. The two Indian players added 95 runs for just over 24 ounces.

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