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Shukla rattles South Zone after fighting ton from Robin

East Zone bowlers led by the seasoned Laxmi Ratan Shukla rattled South Zone in the final hour reducing them to 236 for nine despite Robin Uthappa scoring a well-crafted hundred on the first day of the Duleep Trophy semifinal here on Wednesday.

South Zone were cruising along at 211 for two before last hour and quarter saw them lose as many as seven wickets for 25 runs to hand over the momentum to East by stumps. While Uthappa should be lauded for his 120 that took him over five hours and 196 balls, veteran Bengal all-rounder Shukla showed the likes of Varun Aaron on how to make best use of a seaming track as he ended with figures of 4/30 in 17 overs.

The best part about Shukla’s bowling was his ability to make the batsmen play and bowl the incutters effectively as he got rid of Lokesh Rahul (21), Karun Nair (32), Dinesh Karthik (9) and R Vinay Kumar (0) with his incisive swing bowling.

This was after Uthappa displayed a lot of grit and determination curbing his natural instincts en route his 15th first-class hundred in his 99th appearance. The Coorgi hit 14 boundaries and two sixes, one of them a pulled maximum off Ashoke Dinda over backward square leg to reach 99.

BriefScores SZ 1st innings 236/9 in 86.5 overs (R Uthappa 120, LR Shukla 4/30, Rana Dutta 2/60, Ashoke Dinda 2/51).
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