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January 30, 2012
East Zone 343 (Behera 130, Majumdar 102*) and 173 for 5 (Darekar 5-87) beat West Zone 314 (Yadav 134) and 201 (Nayar 58, Nechim 3-31) by five wickets
East Zone held their nerve in the chase to beat West Zone by five wickets in Valsad. This is only the third time West have lost to East in the Duleep Trophy. West had already conceded the first-innings lead and had begun the final day with only five wickets remaining in the second innings. Mumbai's Abhishek Nayar and Kaustubh Pawar were their last hope of saving the game but when Pawar went caught behind to Ashok Dinda on 37, West's lower order crumbled. They lost five wickets for 21 runs to be bowled out for 201, Nayar being the last man to be dismissed for 58. Dinda and Abu Nechim ended with three strikes each for East.
The visitors made a strong start to the chase of 173 with Dheeraj Jadhav and Manish Vardhan putting on 52 upfront. However, Maharashtra's Akshay Darekar, who bowled 23 of the 56.3 overs in East's second innings, kept striking from one end to leave them in some trouble at 121 for 5 at one stage. Biplab Samantray and Anustup Majumdar, who had helped East take the first-innings lead with an unbeaten century, ensured there were no further worries for their side as they knocked off the remaining 52 runs. Darekar finished with 5 for 87.
East will now take on North Zone in the second semi-final in Delhi from February 7 while Central Zone will meet South Zone in the first in Chennai.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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