West Zone 270 (Patel 98, Sai Kishore 5-86) and 376 for 3 (Jaiswal 209*, Iyer 71, Sai Kishore 2-100) lead South Zone 327 (Indrajith 118, Unadkat 4-52) by 319 runs
Young opener Yashasvi Jaiswal
smashed a double-hundred in just about two-and-half sessions as West Zone took control, despite South’s 57-run first-innings lead on the third day of the Duleep Trophy final in Coimbatore.
At the end of third day’s play, West Zone were 376 for 3, courtesy Jaiswal’s unbeaten 209 off 244 balls that included 23 fours and three sixes.
West now have a lead of 319 and even if they declare at lunch on day four, they will have five sessions to force an outright victory although the track is getting easier for batting with no considerable wear and tear.
For South, it will be about batting out the fourth innings and winning the trophy by virtue of first-innings lead.
Jaiswal shared 169-run third-wicket stand with Shreyas Iyer
(71) and then put on an unbroken 58-run stand for the fourth wicket with Sarfaraz Khan (30*).
It was a day that will be best remembered for the duel between two powerhouse performers in this year’s domestic cricket – left-handed opener Jaiswal and left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore
After Jaiswal had failed in the first innings, he showed more positive intent in the second after South were dismissed for 327, with an addition of only nine runs to their overnight score of 318 for 7.
Once West came out, Jaiswal was severe on South pacers Basil Thampi (0 for 67 in 9 overs) and CV Stephen (0 for 27 in 6 overs) as he and Priyank Panchal (40) added 110 runs at little under five per over for the opening stand.
South captain Hanuma Vihari missed the trick when he introduced Sai Kishore (27-5-100-2) only as second change. Panchal was caught off Sai Kishore’s bowling and Ajinkya Rahane was then trapped leg before by the offspinner K Gowtham (33-1-139-1).
But South’s joy was short-lived as Jaiswal started using his feet to good effect. The two spinners went for a combined 239 runs in 60 overs.
Jaiswal got good support from Iyer, who hit four fours and two sixes before getting dismissed while going for a glory shot off Sai Kishore’s bowling. Having missed a half-century in the first innings, Iyer didn’t show enough patience in the second to score a hundred
Jaiswal hit Gowtham with the turn for a six and didn’t let Sai Kishore settle into one line as he repeatedly came down the track to disturb his rhythm. He also had a six off seamer Stephen’s bowling.
There were many boundaries between cover and extra-cover region and one such shot off Gowtham brought up his double-hundred. Jaiswal let out a war cry and got a standing ovation from the West dressing room.