In-form Yusuf puts West in Deodhar final
West Zone 259 for 5 (Zol 75, Y Pathan 68, Jadhav 56*) beat South Zone 258 for 8 (Binny 65, Baby 58, Patel 2-48) by five wickets
Vijay Zol, Yusuf Pathan and Kedar Jadhav struck half-centuries to take West Zone into the final of the Deodhar Trophy with a comfortable five-wicket win over South Zone in Guwahati. West Zone reached their target of 259 with more than eight overs to spare, and will take on North Zone in the final on Wednesday.
Zol, who hit the headlines in 2011 with an unbeaten 451 in an Under-19 match, anchored the West Zone reply with a well-compiled 75 off 88 balls - his highest List A score. His 71-run partnership with Rayadu eased some early jitters after West Zone lost Parthiv Patel and Manprit Juneja in consecutive overs with the score at 26 for 2. Once Rayadu was dismissed by B Sudhakar, Zol and Pathan proceeded to shut South Zone out of the match.
Pathan played his usual flamboyant game to bring up his third consecutive List-A fifty. He had a reprieve in the 23rd over after a tough chance off an outside edge went down behind the stumps, but he carried on unaffected, bringing up his fifty with a boundary over long-on. With Jadhav chipping in with a brisk 56, a comfortable win was completed.
Earlier, fifties from Stuart Binny and Sachin Baby helped South Zone reach 258 for 8 in their 50 overs. The pair added 87 runs for the sixth wicket in 13.1 overs, taking the score past 200 after South Zone were struggling at 143 for 5 in the 34th over. Baby worked hard for his first List-A fifty, hitting just three boundaries in his 58, even as Binny provided a late flourish to the innings.
Munaf Patel, playing only his fourth match of this season, picked up 2 for 48 in his 10 overs, while Nayar also picked up two wickets even though he conceded 49 runs in his seven overs. Jaydev Unadkat was the most economical bowler for West conceding 49 runs off his 12 overs and picking up the wicket of the centurion from South's previous match Baba Aparajith.