Duleep Trophy 2004-05 February 17, 2005

Yuvraj and Gambhir lead North zone to victory

Cricinfo staff

North Zone 196 and 208 for 1 (Yuvraj 100, Gambhir 79) beat West Zone 201 and 201 (Mishra 5-52) by 9 wickets

A matchwinning century from Yuvraj Singh stirred North Zone to an emphatic nine-wicket win over West in the Duleep Trophy match at Lucknow. Yuvraj, unbeaten on 100, was well supported by Gautam Gambhir on 79, as North coasted to the target of 207 for the loss of just one wicket. Yuvraj starred in North Zone's triumph in the final of the tournament last year, with a hundred in each innings, and also helped them claim the Deodhar Trophy title with a superb century. Gambhir, who missed out in the first innings, staked his claim with a composed knock.

Resuming at 146 for 5, West Zone were on course to gaining a big lead, after Kiran Powar and Rajesh Pawar added 58 for the sixth wicket, but Amit Mishra triggered a collapse by dismissing Pawar for 39. The remaining four wickets tumbled for the addition of only 16 more runs, and North were left chasing a modest target. Mishra, the legspinner, was the most effective bowler with 5 for 52.

Central Zone 189 (Ojha 40) and 139 for 4 (Abbas Ali 47) beat East Zone 194 (Sanyal 62) and 131 (Shukla 53, Yadav 5-29) by 6 wickets

Central Zone didn't face too many hiccups in their pursuit of 137, and wrapped up a six-wicket win in their first game of the Duleep Trophy at Gwalior. Set a modest target of 137 on the final day, Central took less than two sessions to seal the issue with Syed Abbas Ali helping them race to the target with a breezy 47. Beginning the day on 7 for 1, Central Zone lost Mohammad Kaif (17) and Sanjay Bangar (9) early in the day, and were in a slightly precarious position at 37 for 3. But Ali shattered East's hopes of an unlikely triumph and, along with Naman Ojha, who top-scored in the first innings, took them home without further trouble. Shib Shankar Paul proved to be the most expensive of the East bowlers, as he conceded 54 runs in his 18 overs.