Prof D B Deodhar Trophy Final
Ambati Rayudu guided West Zone to a five-wicket win over North Zone with a 78 not-out in the Prof D B Deodhar Trophy final at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati. After captain Parthiv Patel and Manprit Juneja struck half-centuries to lay the platform for their team, Rayudu took his side across the line and was brilliantly supported by Kedar Jadhav’s quick-fire fifty.
While chasing the 290-run target, West Zone lost opener Vijay Zol with just 24 runs on the board. Although skipper Parthiv Patel and Manprit Juneja stitched together a decent stand, their partnership was halted for 87 by Amit Mishra. The senior leg-spinner claimed the key wicket of Patel who had cruised to his 58 at a quick pace. And 46 runs later, Juneja offered a return catch to Manpreet Gony to walk back for 56. And then Unmukt Chand took a brilliant diving catch at backward point to send back the big-hitting Yusuf Pathan to leave West Zone on 175 for four. But with Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav at the crease and Abhishek Nayar still to bat West Zone were very much in the game.
Rayudu and Jadhav brought the team within reach of the target and took the game away from North Zone. While Rayudu held up one end, Jadhav garnered runs at a quick pace and reached his fifty off 40 balls. But with the team still 28 runs short, some quick work by Chandan Madan behind the stumps off Mishra saw Jadhav depart for 57. Abhishek Nayar, who has been is superb form throughout the season, then joined Rayudu at the crease and the duo took the team to a comprehensive victory.
Earlier, asked to bat first, North Zone were propelled to a competitive score by Chand and Yuvraj Singh. After Abhishek Nayar provided West Zone with their first breakthrough with the wicket of Chandan Madan, R V Dhruve followed up with the wicket of North Zone captain Gautam Gambhir, to leave the opposition on 72 for two. But Chand and Yuvraj Singh then came together to add 120 runs for the third wicket, until Jaydev Unadkat struck to break the partnership. While Chand played the supportive role, Yuvraj Singh took the attack to the West Zone bowlers as he raced to his half-century. The dangerous southpaw smashed three sixes and seven boundaries en route his 67 (52 balls), before he was trapped leg-before by Unadkat. Mandeep Singh, who replaced him in the middle, followed him back. Chand trying to take the aerial route was caught at extra-cover off Unadkat. The opener, who had survived a few chances during his stay at the crease, had compiled 88 runs before returning to the dressing room.
Mishra and Rajat Paliwal were the next to be sent back – both were run out. However, after the brief lapse, Parveez Rasool (32 off 25 balls) and Manpreet Gony (25* off 13 balls) added 44 runs for the ninth wicket, until Rasool too was run out with a ball left in the innings.
Man of the Match: Ambati Rayudu for his match-winning knock
Brief scores: North Zone 289/8 in 50 overs (U Chand 88, Y Singh 67, J Unadkat 2/73) lost to West Zone 293/5 in 48.2 overs (A Rayudu 78*, P Patel 58, K Jadhav 57, M Juneja 56) by five wickets