Akshar Patel, along with newly appointed Mumbai skipper Suryakumar Yadav defied the south zone bowlers and led West Zone to victory against South Zone by 2 wickets in a high scoring semi-final at the Wankedhe Stadium, Mumbai. It was a great match as both teams played with lot of spirit. A few hundreds of people at the stadium enjoyed the match and saw some entertaining cricket from the domestic players of India who might became future stars of India.
West Zone won the toss and elected to field. The South Zone innings began off to a positive start as both Robin Uthappa and Mayank Agrawal played some good strokes. Mayank Agrawal was the aggressive partner among the two. Both of them shared a partnership of 104 before Uthappa was run out for 47. After that Baba Aparajith and Mayank put on another good partnership scoring 76 runs. Mayank Agrawal was the second batsman to get dismissed for 86. Aparajith continued his good form as he scored a little over half century (56). At the end of 40 over’s South Zone were 228 for 3. Manish Pandey played another good innings of 55 of 50 balls. At the end of 50 over’s South Zone set a competitive target of 315 with 4 wickets in hand.
West Zone innings got off to a poor start losing Smit Patel for 11. After that Ambati Rayadu and Sheldon Jackson shared a partnership of 91. Rayadu scored 54 and Jackson scored 51. Both of them got out in space of 1 run. Then Kedar jadhav and Suryakumar Yadav put up a partnership of 40 runs. Then Kedar Jadhav and Yusuf Pathan got out in the space of 4 runs and then lost Deepak Hooda after another 11 runs. This lead to West Zone in precarious position of 174 for 6. Then came the turnaround as both Akshar Patel and Suryakumar Yadav scored 67 runs in the batting power play over’s. Yadav was special with his stroke play and got 80 runs in 56 balls. After losing Yadav it was the turn of Akshar Patel to take over who, did not disappoint as he played some wonderful strokes making 64 off 38 balls. His partner Thakur gave him commendable support scoring 31 runs off 22 balls. West Zone won the match with 17 balls to spare.
This tournament is a dress rehearsal for those players who are trying to get selected in the team for the World Cup 2015. West Zone will face East Zone in final on December 3 at the same venue