CHENNAI: On a comeback trail, India Test dismisses Ajinkya Rahane and Yashasvi Jaiswal hammered two centuries like West area put a pedestrian Northeast area sword attack amassing 590 for two in their Quarter-final of the Duleep Trophy Friday.
Sent off bats Rahane (207 batting) and Jaiswal (228) played with the North East bowling lineup and added 333 runs for the second wicket.
The classy Rahane, who played many memorable shots in the Test arena, seemed to relish the shot down the middle as he feasted on the North East bowling. Not known for being a six-hitter, Rahane sent six to the rope, outside of his 22 fours to mark his authority on day two.
Earlier in the day, Prithvi Shaw was the first man to be fired by the opposing team when spinner Ankur Malik had him caught by Ashish Thapa for a quick 113. He had put in 206 for the opening wicket with Jaiswal.
The duo, picking up 116 overnight without a loss, added another 90 runs in record time, continuing where they left off on a rainy opening day.
After getting a reprieve on 80, Shaw lifted his ton with a shot into the points area, before falling to Ankur Malik against the run of play.
Rahane, who needed runs to mount a return to the Test side, ensured the misery for bowlers in the North East continued. The elegant right-handed hitter seemed to be enjoying his time in the middle and, along with the talented Jaiswal, waded into the opposing bowling alley.
Jaiswal also got a reprieve when Malik dropped a catch from his own bowling alley. However, the duo continued to race at will and Jaiswal reached his double century in 281 balls.
Jonathan Rongsen, off-spin bowling ended Jaiswal’s stay in the crease when he was caught by Bishworjit Singh for 228.
Rahul Tripathi (25 at bat) joined Rahane in the middle and went on a record-breaking 51-point stand.
Speaking at the end of the game day, Shaw said it was special to mark the century and added that despite the bowling attack being weak it was important to stay focused.
“I think it was special for me because after training so much and giving myself time, it’s good to mark a century.”
He also sought to play down the inexperienced bowling attack and said: “To be honest, if they’re playing at that kind of level they must have done something. They have potential, that’s why they’re playing here. .
“The first 20-25 overs they played well. Obviously Yash (Jaiswal) and Ajju bhai get those doubles (for centuries)… I think you only need one ball to get out. We have to focus and prepare for it.”
Asked how important this domestic season is to him after finding himself on the sidelines of the national team a few seasons ago, Shaw said: “I think every game is important to me. I’m a guy who is a team man. Whatever the opportunity comes, I will try to catch it.”
Short scores: West Zone 590 for 2 of 123 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 228, Ajinkya Rahane 207 at bat, Prithvi Shaw 113) against North East Zone.
Virat Singh ton help East area do 397 against North
In Pondicherry, youngsters Yash Dhull (35 batting) and Manan Vohra (20 batting) led a solid North area response, moving to 65 unbeaten after the East Zone posted 397 in their first innings, in the other quarterfinal.
Picking up on the night 179 for three, East Zone rolled over a fine century from Virat Singh (117) and a 62 from the versatile Shahbaz Ahmed to reach a total of 397 in the first set.
After captain Manoj Tiwary (27) fell to Nishant Sindhu after scoring 77 points with Virat Singh, Singh and Shahbaz Ahmed’s contribution saw East post a competitive tally.
For the North, pacemaker Navdeep Saini and left-arm spinner Nishant Sindhu picked up three wickets apiece, helping East not break the 400 mark.
Dhull, who led India to title triumph at the ICC Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, showed his class with a surge of limits in his 35 shot, to lead the response from the northern zone.
Brief scores: East Zone 397 all in 136.4 overs (Virat Singh 117, Shahbaz Ahmed 62, Sudip Kumar Gharami 68, Nishant Sindhu 3 for 64, Navdeep Saini 3 for 83) vs. North Zone (Yash Dhull 35 batting).

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