Cheteshwar Pujara showcased his batting prowess on Day 3 of the Duleep Trophy semi-final between West Zone and Central Zone at the KSCA Cricket Ground in Alur. The experienced right-hander played a stellar innings, remaining unbeaten on 132 runs off 266 deliveries before rain interrupted play. His century helped West Zone establish a commanding position in the match, extending their lead to 383 runs.
Pujara’s innings were crucial in rescuing his team from a precarious position. After losing early wickets and finding themselves at 40/2, Pujara formed a crucial 95-run partnership with Suryakumar Yadav. This partnership helped stabilize the innings and guide West Zone to a more comfortable position at 135/3.
The century is significant for Pujara, as he was recently dropped from India’s upcoming Test matches in West Indies. His exclusion followed his underwhelming performance in the ICC World Test Championship final against Australia, where he scored 14 and 27 in the two innings.
Pujara’s unbeaten century has made a statement, proving he remains a formidable force with the bat. His resilience and ability to build solid innings were fully displayed as he accumulated runs patiently. The knock will not only boost Pujara’s confidence but also serve as a reminder of his capabilities as a top-order batsman.
At the time of writing, West Zone had reached 291/8 after 90 overs, with Pujara and Arzan Nagwaswalla at the crease. Saurabh Kumar was the pick of the bowlers for Central Zone, claiming four wickets, while Saransh Jain took three.
In the first innings, West Zone was bowled out for 220, with Shivam Mavi delivering an impressive performance and finishing with figures of 6/43. Atit Sheth top-scored for West Zone with 74 runs.
In response, Central Zone struggled and was dismissed for 128. Nagwaswalla led the bowling attack for West Zone, taking a five-wicket haul, while Seth claimed three wickets. Chintan Gaja also chipped in with two wickets. Rinku Singh and Dhruv Jurel were the top scorers for Central Zone, contributing 48 and 46 runs, respectively.
Pujara’s century has given West Zone a significant advantage as the match progresses and placed them in a strong position to secure a victory in the Duleep Trophy semi-final.