South and Central Zones prevail in dead rubbers
South Zone and Central Zone prevailed in tense encounters in the final league games of the Deodhar Trophy
South Zone 211 for 7 (MSK Prasad 59, Gnaneswara 58*) beat North Zone 210 for 7 (Sodhi 53) by three wickets with one ball to spare
South Zone scraped past North Zone with one ball to spare in their final league game of the Deodhar Trophy at Siliguri. This match was only of academic interest as East Zone had already been crowned champions on January 27. After opting to bat first, North began unconvincingly as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Tinu Youhannan snapped up the first three wickets and North were precariously placed at 77 for 4. It was left to Ajay Jadeja, the captain, and Reetinder Singh Sodhi to prevent a collapse and they added 110 runs for the fifth wicket. Jadeja exercised extreme caution and took 104 balls for his 48 while Sodhi was relatively quicker with his 79-ball 53. Mannava Prasad, the South captain, anchored the run-chase with a patient 59. His 70-run partnership with Gnaneswara Rao (58 not out) helped South get within striking distance. Gnaneswara stayed till the end and ensured that South prevailed in the tense finish.
Central Zone 259 for 7 (Bundela 73*) beat West Zone 258 for 6 (Mane 102) by three wickets with four ball to spare
Devendra Bundela, with an unbeaten 73, steered Central Zone home to a three-wicket win over West Zone at Agartala. Chasing 259, all the Central batsmen chipped in with useful contributions. Gagan Khoda's 45 and Jai Prakash Yadav's 42 were chief architects of the platform before Bundela took over. Bundela cracked three boundaries in his 82-ball innings and received valuable support from Naman Ojha (21 off 10), the wicketkeeper, in the final stages. Earlier in the day, Vinayak Mane (102) and Satyajit Parab (40) got West off to a confident start with a 71-run opening stand. Mane held things together in the middle overs with none of the others kicking on to a big score. S Mathur, the medium-pacer was the most successful bowler for North with 3 for 62. At the end of the day, 258 wasn't enough and Central won the dead rubber with four balls to spare.