Bowlers, Paliwal take North Zone into final
North Zone 265 for 7 (Paliwal 107*, Gurkeerat 77, Vinay Kumar 3-57) beat South Zone 165 (Nair 51*, Harbhajan 3-35, Rasool 3-15) by 100 runs
An unbeaten century from Rajat Paliwal and a strong bowling performance led by Harbhajan Singh and Parvez Rasool helped North Zone march into the final of the Deodhar Trophy with a 100-run win over South Zone.
Put in to bat, North Zone lost Gautam Gambhir early and were struggling at 63 for 4, before Paliwal and Gurkeerat Singh Mann added a 151-run stand to set the base for a challenging score. After Gurkeerat was out for 77, Paliwal stepped up the run-scoring, reaching his third List A hundred to propel North Zone to 265 for 7.
In reply, B Aparajith and Robin Uthappa gave South Zone a safe, sedate start, adding 72 for the first wicket. However, Rishi Dhawan and Ishant Sharma combined to dismiss the South Zone top order, as Aparajith, Uthappa and KL Rahul fell within three overs. The middle order, too, failed to push the chase along as Dinesh Karthik, Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey were out cheaply, falling to the spin pair of Harbhajan and Rasool. That left Karun Nair with a tough target and the tail-end, and the batsman responded with a fighting fifty off 57 balls, including two sixes. His innings, however, was too late in the day for South Zone, who were out for 165 in the 37th over.