Manish Sharma guides North to eight-wicket win in Deodhar Trophy
Kicking off their Deodhar Trophy campaign on the right foot, North Zone beat West Zone by an eight-wicket margin at Amritsar, overhauling a target of 182 in just 44.2 overs.
Winning the toss, West skipper Jacob Martin opted to bat. The openers put on 42 runs for the first wicket, but apart from one, none of the other batsmen, including Martin himself, could contribute significantly with the bat. West Zone collapsed to 181 all out in 45 overs, hit largely by Delhi bowler Amit Bhandari's figures of 4-29.
The exception in West's batting line-up was Hrishikesh Kanitkar. Batting as well as he could amidst the ruins, Kanitkar made 73 off 95 balls, hitting four fours and two sixes in the process. His was the eighth wicket to fall, and West Zone tailenders added only 11 more runs after Kanitkar's dismissal.
Gautam Gambhir has come off a fine double century against the visiting Zimbabwe team, but he must be wondering what he has to do to make it into the national team. His knock of 45, however, was as even-tempered as ever, coming off 62 balls and featuring four fours.
Gambhir fell with the score on 94, and Dinesh Mongia followed him back into the hut 20 runs later. But opener Manish Sharma took the support of Mithun Manhas to hit an unbeaten 99 off 146 balls, striking nine fours and two sixes. He tragically missed out on a century, but his innings was pivotal in taking North to its target in fine style.