Day two featured two games, with a Group A clash between Mid-Atlantic and South zones, each coming into the day on the heels of victory, and the Group B debut of East Zone and West Zone Reds.
Mid-Atlantic vs South
Mid-Atlantic came into the game riding the high of a comeback win against the Colts, while the South Zone hoped to duplicate their dominant bowling performance against the West Zone Blues.
Opener Saiteja Mukkamalla became the tournament’s first centurion, scoring 110 from 116 runs, and carrying the Mid-Atlantic innings on his shoulders. Joining Sai for a third wicket partnership of 65 runs was Yasir Mohammad, who added 38 from 50 himself before being dismissed by MiLC South’s 2020 Top Bowler Rohan Phadke (7.2 overs, 35 runs, 3 wickets) to take the Mid-Atlantic to 158-3 in the 31st over.
Two balls later, Phadke would strike again taking out Ishan Sharma for a duck. Sharma was unable to build on his impressive start to the tournament, when he scored 92 not out against the Colts in the closest game of the tournament so far.
The South bowling attack was good enough to stifle everyone else. Abhiram Bolisetty (7 overs, 43 runs, and 2 wickets) joined Phadke as the only pace bowlers in the attack. The remaining 35 overs were dedicated to spin. After the success of yesterday’s off spin attack, the South turned to Heer Patel to join Danush Kaveripakam (10 overs, 49 runs) and yesterday’s big wicket taker, Elton Tucker Jr. (4 overs, 18 runs, 2 wickets). As Heer displayed in the Minor League Exhibition season, he is more than capable of limiting runs. The left arm orthodox spinner from Atlanta built on that reputation today, with 10 overs, one maiden, 35 runs, and a wicket, as the South’s most economical bowler.
As a footnote, leg break spinner Aditya Gupta bounced back from his brief, frustrating first day spell, taking a wicket in his 7 overs, while conceding only 30 runs.
The South innings lacked any real partnerships until it was too late, and Mid-Atlantic’s bowling attack faced little resistance until a 39 run 9th wicket stand between Dhruv Patel (39 runs from 57 balls) and Adam Khan (16 runs from 28 balls). By the time Khan fell in the 40th over, the South were 125-9, and any chance at victory had all but slipped away. Dhruv and Elton Tucker Jr (19 not out from 27 runs) would put together a dignified 40 run partnership for the final wicket until the South were all out for 165, giving the 2-0 Mid-Atlantic Zone an 85 run victory to sit alone atop the Group A table.
Shapnil Roy (7 over, 1 maiden, 25 runs, 2 wickets) and Varun Mantha (8 overs, 2 maidens, 22 runs, 1 wicket) gave the Mid-Atlantic a terrific start, taking out the first three South Zone batters by the 10th over for a score of only 23/3. Nitesh Mahesh (6.3 overs, 23 runs, 2 wickets), Aditya Sharma (9 overs, 32 runs, 1 wicket), Yasir Mohammad (7 overs, 20 runs, 1 wicket), Nayan Elamurugan (5 overs, 1 maiden, 19 runs, 1 wicket) and Ritwik Behera (4 overs, 23 runs, 1 wicket) joined in with solid contributions to the effort.
East Zone vs West Zone Reds
The Reds showed off their batting depth in the first innings, after falling behind surprisingly early. Vishalpranay Idapalapati (9 overs, 72 runs, 2 wickets) took wickets by the end of the fifth over, and the Reds were 29-2 with Aditya Srinivas and Rajat Sood done for the innings. East Bay Blazers star batter Sanjay Krishnamurthi joined Rahul Jariwala (26 from 37) to partner for 45, when Rahi Bhatia’s off break bowling found daylight through the gate, and Krishnamurthi, the most prized wicket, had to walk away, 35 for 30. Jariwala fell 24 runs later, another big prospect baffled by Bhatia (10 overs, 1 maiden, 35 runs, 2 wickets). The talented Reds found themselves at 98/4, with each of their four top order batters watching from outside of the ropes.
Skanda Rohit Sharma would take over from there and let the air out of East Zone sails, partnering with Shamith Pasula (32 from 41) for 73, and later with the dashing Ajay Immadi (60 not out from 46) for 140. Sharma would finally fall to Anssar Yasim (6 overs, 34 runs, 2 wickets) in the 49th over, but not before scoring 115 from 111 and helping the Reds to a massive total of 331/9.
Along with Idapalapati, Bhatia and Yasim, Safwan Ahmed took two wickets in his 5 overs of work for 26 runs, and Abdur Rehman bowled 10 overs for 75 runs and a wicket.
In the East Zone innings, a Mohamed Shaw half century (57 from 83) would help build a respectable start of 131-3 after 31 overs. Safwan Ahmed would add 29 from 53, but wickets fell in a hurry from there, as the sheer pace of Rhaon Posanipally (6.3 overs, 1 maiden, 20 runs, 2 wickets) and the left arm orthodox magic from Sanjay Krishnamurthi (8 overs, 3 maidens, 12 runs, 3 wickets) wiped out the tail.
Contributions from Dev Thedani (9 overs, 36 runs, 1 wicket), Adil Shivakumar (7 overs, 20 runs, 1 wicket), Vinay Baid (9 overs, 46 runs, 1 wicket) and Ajay Immadi (4 overs, 37, 1 wicket) ensured that everyone went home with a wicket for their efforts.
Action continues on Wednesday with East Zone facing off against the South West Zone, West Zone Blues and Colts both looking for their first win, and Midwest Zone trying to bounce back against West Zone Reds. Stay tuned for more daily coverage.
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