East Zone reclaimed the Deodhar Trophy after a decade with a 24-run win over West Zone at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Electing to bat in the all important game Manoj Tiwary and Virat Singh's 135-run stand followed by a quick-fire 60 off 50 balls by Biplab Samantray had lifted East Zone to a respectable total of 269/8 after being left for 5/2. Ashoke Dinda then claimed West Zone's top-order to leave the opposition struggling on 37/3. Although Kedar Jadhav (97) toiled to keep West Zone in the fray, the line-up was unable to take the team to the target after his departure. Dinda finished with 4/33 in the winning cause.
Earlier, West Zone’s new-ball bowling pair claimed the openers to leave East Zone reeling on 5/2 after Manoj Tiwary opted to bat in the day-night final. Ishank Jaggi departed edging Dhawal Kulkarni to Smit Patel behind the wickets while Shreevats Goswami nicked a short and wide delivery from DJ Muthuswamy to the wicket-keeper. With two wickets in two balls, Manoj Tiwary joined Virat Singh in the middle to lay the foundation for the team’s revival. The pair bided their time at the crease while Kulkarni and Muthuswamy kept a tight lid on the flow of runs. Claiming two early wickets the pacers had conceded only 19 in the first ten overs of the game.
However, the East Zone captain unleashed himself on the bowlers to follow after the end of the powerplay. Manoj smacked Shardul Thakur for two fours and in the next over sent Axar Patel sailing over wide long-on for six. On the following delivery he was dropped while on 21 by wicketkeeper Smit Patel and sneaked a boundary down the leg side off the next delivery.
The pair kept the scoreboard moving with singles and the occasional boundary. Manoj Tiwary played the aggressor while Virat Singh ably supported the skipper in rebuilding the innings at a brisk pace. Yusuf Pathan who had brought himself into the attack too was hit by his opposite number. Manoj smashed him over deep mid-wicket for a six as he took EZ to 82/2 in 20 overs with Virat.
A bit later, Manoj once again struck Pathan for a couple of sixes on the on-side to reach his fifty. Axar who was then re-introduced in to the attack, kept the big hits in check. The pair looked in control and as Pathan used the options available to him in search of the wicket, he handed the ball to the part-timers. And the Maharashtra part-timers gave WZ the much needed breakthroughs and plugged the flow of runs.
Virat Singh looking to clear the ropes was caught at long-off by Ambati Rayudu off Ankit Bawane ending the partnership. And couple of overs later, Manoj trying to cut Kedar Jadhav missed and the ball toppled his bails.
With two new batsmen – Saurabh Tiwary and Biplab Samantaray at the crease the batting powerplay was taken and the duo collected 35 runs from it. Playing watchfully, the pair stitched a valuable 75-run stand in little over 11 overs. But with five overs remaining the batsmen needed to accelerate and in the process, Saurabh perished holing out to long-on off Kulkarni. But Samantaray continued to pluck runs and notched up his fifty with a boundary in the next over. Kumar Deobrat in the following over took the team to 250 with a six over long-on off Kulkarni.
In the pen-ultimate over, while Deobrat had slammed Axar over the fence, Samantaray was caught by Suryakumar Yadav at long-off off Axar for 60. In the last over, Deobrat was caught by Bawane off Muthuswamy at long-off. With five balls left, Shahbaz Nadeem joined Saurasish Lahiri, who smacked the bowler for six over long-off. However, while attempting to add a run he was run-out on the last ball. With 81 runs off the last ten overs, EZ posted a respectable total on the board of 269/8.
Ashoke Dinda then claimed West Zone openers Smit and Sheldon Jackson to leave the team on 20/2 in the seventh over. Smit edged the wiry pacer to the wicket-keeper while Jackson handed the catch to Saurabh in the slips.
Bawane then joined Rayudu in the middle and four overs later the latter was Dinda’s third scalp. After hitting the pacer for two back-to-back boundaries through point and cover, Rayudu was out reaching for the ball which nicked past the bat and was caught by Goswami.
Adding runs at a steady pace the two strived to build a partnership and took the team to the three-figure mark. Jadhav struck Lahiri straight across the fence to take the team past the mark. However, Nadeem ended the blossoming stand for 74 by trapping Bawane lbw for 28.
Suryakumar Yadav then joined Jadhav in milking the East Zone bowlers. And as they looked to take the team within reach of the target, Jadhav was given a reprieve on 68. The middle-order batsman hitting Lahiri to long-on was dropped by Deobrat. The batsmen rotated the strike to keep the scoreboard moving while Jadhav took on the bowlers as he entered the 90s. He hit Manoj for a straight six to the sight-screen and later struck Veerpratap Singh for successive boundaries through the leg-side and cover region.
After Veerpratap was hit for ten runs in the first over of the batting powerplay, Manoj re-introduced Dinda into the attack during the period and the bowler kept the flow of runs in check with Nadeem and Samantaray. On the last ball of the last over of the batting powerplay, Samantaray bowled Jadhav for 97.
With 75 required off the last 60 balls, the hard-hitting WZ captain, Yusuf Pathan joined Yadav to take the innings ahead. While there was a steady flow of singles, the batsmen were finding it difficult to find the boundary and the run-rate crept up. An unfortunate mix-up in the middle saw Pathan run-out for three. Axar Patel joined Yadav in the uphill chase and in the next over slammed three consecutive boundaries off Samantaray to keep the team in the fray. But going for the aerial route Axar was caught at square-leg off Nadeem. Thakur who then came out ahead of Kulkarni launched into the attack smashing Veer Pratap for six and a boundary but departed next ball hitting the ball to point. And back for his third spell Dinda claimed Yadav who hit the ball straight to cover and return to the dressing room. Samantaray followed up with the wicket of Kulkarni to bowl the team to victory in the next over. Scorecard