Karnataka batsman Lokesh Rahul gave the selectors some food for thought before the upcoming Australia tour after the opener struck a classy century to give South Zone a vital first innings lead against Central Zone on Day 2 of the Duleep Trophy final, here on Thursday.
A talented Central Zone team led by Piyush Chawla is aiming to come out firing all cylinders when it squares off with an equally combative South Zone side in the final of the Duleep Trophy, starting here on Wednesday.
With unrelenting bad weather playing spoilsport, North Zone and South Zone were declared joint winners of the Duleep Trophy this year after the fifth day`s play of the final match was also called off without a ball being bowled on Monday.
The first day` proceedings of the Duleep Trophy final between North Zone and South Zone was called off without a ball being bowled due to heavy outfield which was not conducive for competitive cricket.
Test specialist Pragyan Ojha`s deadly spell (6/48) of left-arm spin bowling enabled South Zone record a crushing innings and 38 runs victory over Central Zone to clinch a place in the Duleep Trophy final.
Skipper Abhinav Mukund and Baba Aparajith smashed hundreds as South Zone took a firm grip of the Duleep trophy semifinal against Central Zone by reaching 479/9, which gave them a 258-run lead on the third and penultimate day of the match on Saturday.
After notching up a massive win over West Zone last week, South Zone will look for an encore when they clash with last year`s finalists, Central Zone in the second semifinal of the Duleep Trophy here on Thursday.
Former champions South Zone progressed to the semifinal of the Duleep Trophy cricket tournament by pipping West Zone by virtue of a 313-run first innings lead after their four-day quarterfinal match ended in a draw on Sunday.
Responsible batting by young Tamil Nadu all-rounder Baba Aparajith and talented Karnataka batsmen Manish Pandey to guide South Zone to 213 for three at stumps on the first day of the Duleep Trophy quarterfinal match against West Zone at the Chepauk on Thursday.
Senior politician and Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association chief Rajiv Shukla will be one of the three new vice-presidents of the BCCI even as South Zone expectedly nominated N Srinivasan for the post of President ahead of the Board`s AGM on Sunday.
The first semifinal of the Duleep Trophy between defnding champions East Zone and South Zone is interestingly poised with the former scoring 126 for six in their second innings to enjoy a slender 152-run lead at stumps on day 3 here today.