North Zone had things their own way against East Zone in notching up their third successive victory in the CK Nayudu inter-zonal (under-19) cricket tournament at the IIT Chemplast ground on Thursday.
Put in to bat, East Zone were restricted to 210 for seven in 50 overs. Actually they were off to a fine start with opener SG Das (59) and Manish Kumar (67) adding 88 runs for the second wicket off 24 overs. Das faced 101 balls and hit five fours. After his departure, Manish Kumar and RR Das (41 off 54 balls) put on 83 runs for the third wicket from 16.3 overs. At 185 for two in the 45th over, East Zone seemed headed for a challenging score. But the fall of Manish Kumar who faced 113 balls and hit four boundaries triggered a collapse and East Zone could score only 25 runs in the last five overs while losing five wickets.
The modest target never posed any problems for North Zone. Openers RS Sharma (24) and Manish Sharma put on 44 runs in ten overs. This was followed by a second wicket partnership of 131 runs off 21.3 overs between Manish Sharma and G Gambhir. Then Manish Sharma was out for 77 compiled off 86 balls with nine hits to the ropes. In the next over, Gambhir was run out for 59. He faced 71 balls and hit five fours. North Zone were now 176 for three in the 33rd over. But R Gupta and I Gainda steeered North Zone to victory without any further loss in the 44th over.