by 2 wickets to enter the
final in which they will take on
. But it was the time-wasting tactics by Jayant Yadav-led North Zone team that raised eyebrows.
With South Zone needing 32 runs for victory,
and his men took 53 minutes to bowl 5.5 overs in the final session with one over (35th) stretching beyond 12 minutes.
Having conceded the first innings lead, South needed 215 runs for victory and 194 runs on the final day in Bengaluru. The match was also marred by bad light interruptions over four days and dubious umpiring.
North Zone bided time with needless changes in field setting for every delivery, call for saw dust and dead balls. And a motley crowd urged the umpires Ulhas Gandhe and Rohan Pandit to ask the fielding side to fall in line.
North Zone’s time-wasting strategies came as no surprise for South Zone captain
A seasoned campaigner of 114 first-class matches, Vihari is all too familiar with the pressure tactics used by opposition teams.
Dwelling on North Zone’s game plan in the final session, Vihari said, “I think domestic cricket is like that. I’ve come across a lot of games where teams try to delay in the final few overs to gain advantage. Some may say it is not in the spirit of the game but even if I was the captain, I would have done the same thing.
“They ended up on the losing side but if there was bad light they could have won. Anything to win, to a point, is fair. They will be penalised for slow over rate but they took the risk for a possible win. The delaying tactics affect the rhythm, but I told Tilak and Ricky to be prepared for it. Once the weather improved we sent a message that we have the time and to take singles. Communication was the key and on that front, we did well,” Vihari said.
Summing up his team’s thrilling two-wicket win, Vihari said, “Once we lost the innings lead we knew we had to go for an outright win. The way we bowled in the third innings set up the game for us. Coming into today’s play, we thought we would get 45-50 overs but we got even less because they delayed it at the end. But any team would do that.”
Former Indian cricketer Dodda Ganesh questioned North Zone’s time-wasting tactics: