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Duleep Trophy 2023 | Cheteshwar Pujara's Stellar Century Help West Zone Advance to Final

image-lju0vfw7West Zone (Twitter)

Although the first semi-final of the Duleep Trophy 2023 happened to be a stalemate, a 92-run first-innings lead helped the West Zone to punch their ticket for the final of the tournament.

Chasing 390 runs, the Central Zone was already four down for 128 runs and probably stared at defeat. However, six overs after the lunch of Day 4, rain poured down as no more play was possible.

Adding just five runs to their overnight score, the West Zone were packed early in the day, losing their last wicket at the score of 297 with Cheteshwar Pujara scoring 133 of those.

While the Central Zone had suffered a never-ending collapse in their first innings that saw them getting bowled out for 128, they, perhaps, did not learn much as their top and middle-order again failed to contribute. 

Pacers Arzan Nagwaswalla and Atit Sheth dismissed the Central Zone openers Himanshu Mantri and Vivek Singh. Later on, the spinners Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Yuvrajsinh Dodiya joined the party and ended Dhurv Jurel, and Rinku's stay at the crease.

Interestingly enough, Shivam Mavi and Co. were at 128/4, their first innings' nemesis, when the play stopped.

The West Zone will face South Zone in the marquee clash, starting on July 12 at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.

Brief scores

West Zone (1st innings) - 220/10 (92.5)

Atit Sheth 74 (129), Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 39 (91);
Shivam Mavi 6-43 (19.5), Avesh Khan 1-26 (11)

Central Zone (1st innings) - 128/10 (31)

Rinku Singh 48 (69), Dhruv Jurel 46 (55);
Arzan Nagwaswalla 5-74 (14), Atit Sheth 3-27 (9)

West Zone (2nd innings) - 297/10 (93.2)

Cheteshwar Pujara 133 (278), Suryakumar Yadav 52 (58);
Saransh Jain 4-56 (28.2), Saurabh Kumar 4-84 (29)

Central Zone (2nd innings) - 128/4 (35)

Rinku Singh 40 (30), Amandeep Khare 27* (66);
Yuvrajsinh Dodiya 1-16 (4), Arzan Nagwaswalla 1-21 (8)

West Zone will play South Zone in the Duleep Trophy 2023 Final at Bengaluru from July 12-16.