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West Zone trounce North to lift Deodhar Trophy

A professional batting performance by West Zone helped them clinch the Deodhar Trophy as they cruised to a comfortable five-wicket victory over North Zone in the final at Guwahati on Wednesday.

Put into bat, North Zone made a commendable 289 for eight in 50 overs courtesy Unmukt Chand's scratchy 88 and Yuvraj Singh's useful 67.

In reply, Ambati Rayudu anchored the chase with a well-made unbeaten 78 as West successfully reached the target in 48.2 overs.

It was skipper Parthiv Patel, who started the chase in right earnest hitting 52-ball-58 while Kedar Jadhav with a punishing knock of 57 off only 43 deliveries also played his part to perfection.

Young Manprit Juneja (56) also hit a half century as a collective effort by the batsmen was responsible in the title triumph despite poor bowling and shoddy fielding effort.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu anchored the West Zone chase. File Pic

North captain Gautam Gambhir's ploy of opening the bowling with young off-spinner Parveez Rasool worked partially as he got rid of Vijay Zol who was adjudged leg-before trying to play the sweep shot.

However, Parthiv and his statemate Juneja added 84 runs for the second wicket in 14 overs. While Parthiv found the gaps with ease hitting Rasool for three boundaries in an over, Juneja also looked solid as he punished the loose balls.

Parthiv hit eight fours and a six off a full-toss bowled by Yuvraj. Juneja also got into the act as he hit five fours -- three off Manpreet Gony and two off Rasool as the North bowlers leaked a lot of runs.

Once Parthiv was caught at mid-wicket off Amit Mishra's bowling, North was hopeful of making inroads into the West Zone batting line-up, but Juneja denied them and his huge six off the India discard leggie showed the West's dominance.

Mishra gave away 63 in 12 overs while Gony was blasted for 52 in six overs.

The competitiveness between the teams was apparent when Juneja gave a return catch to Gony, and he was needlessly given an ugly send-off by the big bodied Punjab pacer.

Yusuf Pathan (6) was dismissed by a well disguised short-pitched delivery from Siddharth Kaul but Jadhav and Rayudu took the match away from North. The duo added 87 runs in 13.1 overs but more importantly got a boundary and at times even couple of them in an over.

Jadhav initially took some time to settle down but as he grew in confidence, he started taking on the bowlers. Out of his eight boundaries, six were hit off pacers Gony and Parvinder Awana.

Earlier, Unmukt and Yuvraj added 120 runs for the third wicket partnership which enabled North reach a competitive total of 289 for eight.

Unmukt's 88 came off 124 balls with seven fours and three huge sixes. However, his innings wasn't fluent one as he was very subdued in the initial part and also led a charmed life after being dropped twice.

Yuvraj, however, was in much better touch as he hit 67 off 52 balls with seven fours and three sixes. The middle-order batsman couldn't make any significant contribution but Rasool (32) and Gony (25) added 44 runs in little over four overs to take the total close to 300. 

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