Jadhav, Abdulla take West to final
West Zone 342 for 7 (K Jadhav 114, Pujara 70, S Ahmed 4-62) beat South Zone 234 (Tiwary 112*, Abdulla 6-32) by 108 runs
Kedar Jadhav and Iqbal Abdulla powered West Zone to the final of the Deodhar Trophy in a one-sided semi-final against East Zone in Mohali. Jadhav's 114, which came off only 69 balls, helped West Zone set up a daunting target, and left-arm spinner Abdulla strangled East Zone's chase as he picked up 6 for 32.
East elected to bowl and were soon put under pressure by openers Parthiv Patel (69) and Ajinkya Rahane (36), who racked up an 84-run opening partnership in good time. The departure of both openers brought Jadhav and Pujara (70) to the centre. By the time Jadhav was out, the partnership was worth 171 runs in 23.2 overs. None of the bowlers were spared from the onslaught. Later, Mumbai's Suryakumar Yadav blasted three sixes and two fours in an 11-ball 27 to push West's total beyond 300 and dent the fielding team's confidence.
With the momentum against them, East lost Dheeraj Jadhav in the second over to Jaydev Unadkat. However, it was the introduction of Abdulla inside the first 10 overs that derailed the chase. Abdulla spun a web around the batsmen and accounted for the next four wickets before East got to 100 runs. Saurabh Tiwary resisted the slide with his unbeaten 112 off 95 balls, but with other batsmen falling prey to Abdulla and Co, he was left stranded as the innings folded in the 40th over.
Kedar Jadhav was awarded Man-of-the-match for setting up the win. West Zone now travel to Dharamsala for the final, which is on March 19. The second finalist will be decided tomorrow when Central Zone take on North Zone in Dharamsala.