Lahli: All-rounder Stuart Binny tormented the East Zone batsmen with his controlled swing bowling as they lost as many as 14 wickets with South Zone marching towards a comprehensive innings victory at the end of second day in the semi-final of the Duleep Trophy.
Starting the day at 236 for nine South’s first innings ended at 264 with last pair of HS Sharath (6 no) and Abhimanyu Mithun (23) batting out the first hour.
The South bowlers then came out all guns blazing to skittle East for a paltry 84 as Binny was the pick of the bowlers with figures of four for 24 from 13 overs.
With a huge lead of 180 runs, South captain Ranganath Vinay Kumar decided to enforce the follow-on but East didn’t fare any better in the their second essay tottering at 30 for 4 when stumps were drawn.
With 150 runs still needed to avoid innings defeat, the manner in which Manoj Tiwary and company batted doesn’t inspire confidence of highest order. Binny again turned out to be the wrecker-in-chief as his dibbly dobbly swing bowling got him 3/7 in five overs.
The India all-rounder now has match-figures of 7/31 with two days of play still left. Another interesting turn of event was discarded India left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha bowling wearing half sleeves with an elbow potective gear.
Ojha got 3/9 as he polished off the tail.
On the first day, Laxmi Ratan Shukla exploited the conditions hitting the right length on a pitch that had fair amount of green, it was Binny’s turn to stick to the basics on the second day as he bowled good areas and got the ball to move both ways after pitching.
The East batsmen could never show positive intent as even the senior players like Manoj Tiwary (4 and 8) pushing hard at away going deliveries only to be snapped up by slip fielders.
Veteran batsmen Laxmi Ratan Shukla and talented southpaw Sudeep Chatterjee were all guilty of not getting to the pitch of the moving deliveries.
Binny pitched his deliveries on a drivable length and got it to move as none of the batsmen in the East Zone top-order were ready to cover the swing and ended up giving Manish Pandey, Lokesh Rahul and Karun Nair, some serious slip catching practice.
Only Wriddhiman Saha (0) was distinctly unlucky in the first innings as he suffered due to a howler from umpire Paschim Pathak, who had a bad day in office giving two poor decisions.
It was a fuller delivery from Binny outside the off stump and Saha was beaten trying to push at it. The replays indicated that the ball was not even near to the bat and glovesman Dinesh Karthik’s appeal was also muted but Pathak raised his finger.
None of the East batsmen could cross 20 and seven of them failed to reach even double digits in the first innings. Rana Dutta (17) was the highest scorer.
At the fag end of the day during the second innings, it seemed that the problems were not sorted out as Manoj, Sudeep were dismissed again fishing in the slip cordon.
Govind Podder (4) played a Binny delivery thinking that it would come in but it straightened after pitching knocking the off-stump back.
Rana Dutta (0) got a debatable leg-before decision as the ball from Binny looked like clearly missing the leg-stump but it was another howler from Pathak.
South Zone 1st Innings 264 in 101.1 overs (Robin Uthappa 120, LR Shukla 4/40)
East Zone 1st innings 84 all out in 47.4 overs (Stuart Binny 4/24, Pragyan Ojha 3/9) and (f/o) 30/4 in 15 overs (Stuart Binny 3/7).