Ganguly shines but in a losing cause
Dropped from the Indian Test squad, Sourav Ganguly sent out another hint to the national selectors, scoring 81 but ended up on the losing side as West Zone comfortably beat East Zone in a Deodhar Trophy encounter at Gwalior. Batting first, East Zone were in a spot of bother at 76 for 4 but Ganguly's presence ensured some stability in the innings. He faced 146 deliveries, which included 90 dot balls. Manoj Tiwary (55*) and Laxmi Ratan Shukla (42*) forced the pace towards the end to finish with 223 for 7 in 50 overs - Shukla's knock coming off only 21 balls with six fours and a six. Dheeraj Jadhav built the foundation for West's reply, scoring a patient 55 while Jacob Martin held the innings together with a solid 70. Shahbaz Nadeem, coming in as a Supersub (replacing Rohan Gavaskar) chipped in with two wickets in the latter half of the innings, but it was a little too late as West cantered home in the 48th over.
North Zone defeated Central Zone by 14 runs in a Deodhar Trophy match at Indore. Chasing 234, Central seemed comfortably placed as far as the required rate was concerned but were guilty of throwing away their wickets after making starts, succumbing to the spinners. The spin trio of Dinesh Mongia, Gaurav Vashisht and Amit Mishra shared eight between them to skittle out Central for 219 in just over 45 overs. Tejinder Pal Singh was the only batsman to offer some resistance, scoring 61. For North Zone, Shikar Dhawan and Reetinder Singh Sodhi made valuable half-centuries, putting on 139 for the third wicket. Sodhi was the more aggressive of the two, striking three sixes in his innings of 85 which came off 108 balls. Joginder Sharma's late-order fireworks took the score to 233.