The batting might of West Zone helped them crush East Zone by 218 runs in Cuttack and pocket their ninth Deodhar Trophy. It completes a triumphant season for Wasim Jaffer, who had also led West to the Duleep Trophy, besides winning the Ranji Trophy for Mumbai.
Such a huge defeat didn't look on the cards for East when their new-ball bowlers got rid of the prolific Ajinkya Rahane and Parthiv Patel to reduce West to 40 for 2 after 8.1 overs. Jaffer was dropped by the wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha in the next over on 16, and he got another life when Dhiraj Goswami grassed a caught-and-bowled chance when on 49. Still, when West slipped to 85 for 3 in the 17th over after Rakesh Solanki was run out, the game was evenly balanced.
It was all one-way traffic after that, though. Jaffer and Cheteshwar Pujara, two of the highest run-getters of the season, put on a brisk 158-run stand to give West the upper hand. Fifteen boundaries and a six helped Jaffer along to his sixth List A century, but Pujara fell six runs short of a hundred. Both men were dismissed in the space of 15 balls, but there was no easing up of the scoring-rate.
Ravindra Jadeja, fresh from his stint with the national team, and the big-hitting Abhishek Nayar tore into the East attack to plunder 113 runs off the last ten overs. Jadeja slammed five fours and four sixes in a 30-ball 61 and Nayar needed only 25 deliveries for his 54.
East had opted to go with an additional batsman, picking Halhaldar Das instead of the left-arm spinner Tushar Saha, and the strategy backfired, with 105 runs coming off part-timers Manoj Tiwary and Deepak Sharma's 11 overs.
Faced with a massive target, East's chances became bleaker when medium-pacers Siddharth Trivedi and Jayesh Odedra got three early wickets. Worse was to follow as captain Tiwary and the in-form Ishank Jaggi fell within the space of five balls; East were soon at 49 for 6. There was some brief resistance from tailenders Rakesh Mohanty and Goswami but not enough to worry West. The victory was confirmed when Jadeja took two wickets in four deliveries to bundle East out for 144.