East Zone through after Vinay, Dinda heroics
East Zone went through to the final of the 2012 Duleep Trophy on the basis of their first innings lead after their match against South Zone ended in a draw at Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.
They had grabbed a crucial 23 run first innings lead on Tuesday, bowling SZ out for 244 in reply to EZ’s first innings total of 267. Beginning Day 3 on 134/5, SZ lost CM Gautam early but managed to reach 244 thanks to a 65 run partnership between Amit Verma (49) and Vinay Kumar (61, 117b, 4x17).
Vinay returned to lead with stupendous figures of 3/10 when EZ batted in their second innings, supported well by Stuart Binny (3/31), Abhimanyu Mithun (1/29), KP Appanna (1/48), R Aushik (1/56) and Amit Verma (1/17). East Zone were 129/6 at Stumps on Day 3, largely due to skipper Nataraj Behera (60) but Biplab Samantray (52) and Basant Mohanty (35) chipped in to take them to 215 at Lunch on Day 4.
Ashoke Dinda created havoc post that, single handedly reducing South Zone to 40/7 with whopping figures of 7/26 and giving his team a chance of an outright win. Mohanty then removed Mithun to push South Zone further down to 42/8 before KP Appanna (24*) and CM Gautam (18*) took charge. The duo added an unbeaten 43 for the 9th wicket, taking South Zone to 85/8 at Stumps and denying defending champions an East an outright win.
East Zone will now face Central Zone in Chennai on Sunday for the final of the Duleep Trophy, a repeat of the final from last year's Duleep Trophy.