Devdhar, Pujara set up massive win for West
West Zone 281 for 3 (Devdhar 94, Pujara 75, Rayudu 46*) beat North Zone 148 (Mandeep 37, Vasavada 3-20) by 133 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Kedar Devdhar scored a 101-ball 94 and put on 144 with Cheteshwar Pujara to lay the platform for West Zone to lift the Deodhar Trophy with a massive win over North Zone in Visakhapatnam. West Zone, who have played the last five Deodhar Trophy finals against North Zone, claimed their third successive title.
Having chosen to bat, West Zone had lost Parthiv Patel in the ninth over of their innings when Pujara joined Devdhar, who had already begun brightly, striking Siddarth Kaul for three fours in one over. Even as Devdhar continued scoring briskly, Pujara was circumspect, and had only reached 16 by the time he had faced 50 balls.
The runs began flowing quicker after that, though not in boundaries. Pujara, in fact, struck his first four when he pulled Ashish Nehra for four to reach his 50. Devdhar had moved into the 90s by then, with the help of nine fours and a six, and West were into the 170s in the 36th over.
West lost Devdhar soon after, and Pujara followed him into the dressing room after striking three more fours and launching Kaul for a six over long-on. With 7.3 overs to go, Yusuf Pathan joined Ambati Rayudu. The two proceeded to add an unbroken 67 runs at close to nine an over to power West to a total of 281 for 3. Rayudu was not out on 46 off 39 balls and Pathan on a 21-ball 32. Rishi Dhawan was North's most successful bowler, both in terms of wickets and economy rate, with figures of 2 for 46 from 11 overs.
North looked well on course at 60 for 1 in the 11th over, with Nitin Saini batting aggressively in the company of Mandeep Singh. They then lost two quick wickets, Saini edging Dhawal Kulkarni to slip - he had struck six fours in a 27-ball 32 - and Rajat Paliwal nicking Jaydev Unadkat to the keeper three overs later.
After that, North lost all momentum. Pujara introduced his state-mate Arpit Vasavada, an occasional left-arm spinner, into the attack in the 20th over, and a wicket fell off his first ball, Parvez Rasool run out after a mix-up with Mandeep. The left-arm spinners then got to work, Akshar Patel and Vasavada striking three times in three overs to have North reeling at 110 for 7 after 27 overs.
Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra stuck around for a bit, but it was to no avail, as North were eventually all out for 148, with Vasavada taking his third wicket, Ishant Sharma caught at slip, to wrap up victory for West.