Duleep Trophy: Nishant Sindhu’s 150, Harshit Rana’s maiden hundred put North Zone in driver’s seat

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Bengaluru, June 29

Wicketkeeper-batter Nishant Sindhu slammed 150 while pacer Harshit Rana notched up his maiden hundred in first-class cricket to put North Zone in the driver’s seat against North East Zone on Day 2 of the Duleep Trophy quarterfinal at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, here on Thursday.

After opener Dhruv Shorey made 135 on day one's play, it was the turn of Sindhu and Rana, who remained not out on 122, to make merry against North East Zone bowlers, before the North Zone innings was declared at 540/8 in 136 overs.

Before rain caused an end to day two's play, Rana, Siddharth Kaul and Baltej Singh took a wicket each to leave North East Zone at 65/3 in 20 overs, trailing North Zone by 475 runs. Sindhu began the day by reaching his hundred in 165 balls, also his third century in first-class cricket.

But North East Zone struck back as Palzor had Pulkit Narang dismissed for 46, ending a crucial 130-run stand for the seventh wicket. However, the inexperienced bowling line-up had little respite as Rana came out all guns blazing, smashing all over the park to reach his fifty in just 37 balls.

Sindhu, a member of India's 2022 Men's U19 World Cup winning squad, continued his sublime batting to reach his 150, before falling on the same score to Imliwati. But Rana's stunning counterattacking knock continued and with clean shots in hand, he reached his hundred off just 75 balls, as North Zone went past 500.

After 40 more runs, North Zone declared their innings as Rana went back with 122 not out against his name, laced with 12 fours and nine sixes at a strike-rate of 141.86. After some quiet overs, North Zone drew first blood as Kishan Lyndoh was castled by Kaul.

Baltej joined the wicket-taking spree by having Thankhuma nicking behind. After rain arrived, play was disrupted, before the skies cleared up. Captain R Jonathan was then trapped lbw by Rana, before covers came back again, causing an end to day two's play.

Brief Scores: North Zone 540/8 declared in 136 overs (Nishant Sindhu 150, Dhruv Shorey 135; Kishan Singha 2/74) lead North East Zone 65/3 in 20 overs (Nilesh Lamichaney 35 not out; Siddharth Kaul 1/3) by 475 runs. 

--IANS

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