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March 23, 2008
South Zone 247 for 9 (Uthappa 57, Karthik 40, Gony 4-52) beat North Zone 205 for 9 (Bhatia 62*, Gambhir 43, Ojha 3-20, Rao 3-47) by 42 runs
In a match between the two bottom-placed sides, South Zone emerged triumphant over North Zone in Visakhapatnam to register their first win in this season's Deodhar Trophy.
Both teams had lost their previous two games, and were missing the services of players in India's squad for the first Test against South Africa. Gautam Gambhir, the North captain, won the toss and let his bowlers make first use of the wicket.
However, a patient start from Robin Uthappa and S Vidyut thwarted North's hopes of any early inroads. Vidyut fell first for 37, and the opening stand had put on 70 in 15.5 overs. Uthappa went on to make a fifty; his 57 was an uncharacteristically slow, and needed 91 deliveries.
Dinesh Karthik scored a near run-a-ball 40, while Vinay Kumar chipped in with an unbeaten 31 off 19 as South scored 247 for 9 in their 50 overs. Punjab's Manpreet Gony took 4 for 52, while India Under-19 bowler Pradeep Sangwan finished with 2 for 48.
North were going steadily in their chase; they were 78 for 1 after 16.1 overs before Gnaneswara Rao struck twice to remove Gautam Gambhir, who scored a 37-ball 43, and wicketkeeper Uday Kaul. Allrounder Rajat Bhatia came up with a fighting 62, with three fours and three sixes, but North could manage only 205 in their 50 overs, 42 short of South's total.
Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha tore through the lower order, taking 3 for 20 in his ten, while Rao ended with figures of 3 for 47.
The other game of the day, between Central Zone and East Zone, was washed out without a ball being bowled. Central Zone have already won the tournament.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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