Visakhapatnam: A clinical all-round performance took West Zone to their third successive Deodhar Trophy as they registered a comprehensive 133-run win over North Zone in the final here today. Riding on Kedar Devdhar's 94 and skipper Cheteshwar Pujara's patient half-century, West Zone posted a challenging 281 for three in 50 overs.
Spinners Arpit Vasavada (3/20) and Akshar Patel (2/23) were the pick of the bowlers as they bundled out North Zone for 148 in 37.1 overs at Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here. The North Zone never got the partnerships they required to overhaul the target, with best being a 48-run effort between Nitin Saini (32) and Gautam Gambhir (13) for the opening wicket.
Mandeep Singh (37) was the highest run-scorer for the Harbhajan Singh-led side as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals. Other wicket-takers for West Zone were Jaydev Unadkat (1/40), Jasprit Bumrah (1/31) and Dhawal Kulkarni (1/32). Earlier, opener Devdhar, who fell short of his third first-class century, put on a 144-run stand with skipper Cheteshwar Pujara (75) to build a strong foundation after Parthiv Patel (13) departed early.
A late blitz from Yusuf Pathan (32 not out off 21 balls) in company of Ambati Rayadu, who made unbeaten 46 from 39 deliveries, took West Zone to a fighting total. While Pujara took 114 balls for his knock that included four fours and a six, right-handed Devdhar smashed nine boundaries and a maximum in his 101-ball effort.
Rayadu's five fours and Pathan's two boundaries and as many sixes provided the impetus as North Zone bowlers struggled to take wickets. Pacer Rishi Dhawan (2/46) picked two scalps for North Zone, while one wicket went to veteran Ashish Nehra (1/49).
Brief Scores: West Zone: 281 for 3 in 50 overs (Kedar Devdhar 94, Cheteshwar Pujara 75; Rishi Dhawan 2/46) North Zone: 148 all out in 37.1 overs (Mandeep Singh 37, Nitin Saini 32; Arpit Vasavada 3/20).