Deodhar Trophy: West Zone edge out Central Zone by 1 wicket

PUDUCHERRY, July 28: Atit Sheth made a brilliantly-timed fifty as West Zone remained in the race to the Deodhar Trophy final with an edgy one-wicket win over Central Zone here on Friday.

Sheth (53 not out, 53b, 4×4, 2×6) and Rajvardhan Hangargekar (24, 12 balls, 1×4, 2×6) pulled West Zone out of woods with a quick 39-run stand for the ninth wicket while chasing Central’s competitive 243 for 7.

West now have eight points from three matches with two games remaining, but they need to win them to stay on course for a final berth.  The top two teams on the table will progress to the final. South Zone and East Zone are the current occupants of the first and second place respectively with 12 points each.

But before all the drama unfolded, West were in a rather comfortable position after openers Harvik Desai (57, 86 balls, 8×4, 2×6) and captain Priyank Panchal (36) carried them to 77 for no loss.

However, UP off-spinner Shivam Chaudhary (4/18) brought Central back into the game with quick strikes along with leg-spinner Karn Sharma (2/66).  West slipped to 138 for 6 in the 33rd over. But from that point Sheth handled the West chase with aplomb.

The right-hander first made 41 runs with Shams Mulani for the seventh wicket, and then followed that with an explosive ninth wicket stand of 39 runs in four overs that reshaped the match.  Earlier, Central Zone put a handy total on the board despite none of their batsmen making a fifty.

Yash Dubey (49, 81 balls, 4×4), skipper Venkatesh Iyer (43, 45 balls, 4×4, 1×6), Karn Sharma (44, 46 balls, 6×4, 1×6) and Shivam Mavi (47, 39 balls, 3×4, 3×6) led Central’s charge.

The highlight of the innings was a 50-run alliance between Karn and Mavi that came in a little over six overs, saving Central from a wobbly 150 for 6 in the 38th over.  The partnership carried them past 200 but failed to fetch a victory for them on the day.

Brief Scores:

Central Zone: 243/7 in 50 overs (Yash Dubey 49, Venkatesh Iyer 43, Karn Sharma, 44, Shivam Mavi 47; Shams Mulani 2/42) lost to West Zone: 244/9 in 49.4 overs (Harvik Desai 57, Atit Sheth 53 not out; Shivam Chaudhary 4/18) by 1 wicket. (PTI)