Some exceptional batting from Akshar Patel and Surya Kumar Yadav helped their side West Zone to register an unbelievable win against South Zone to enter the finals. Now West Zone will play against East Zone in the final to defend the Deodhar Trophy.

After winning the toss, West Zone put South Zone into bat. South Zone’s openers’ Robin Uthappa and Mayank Agarwal continued their brilliant form with the bat putting on a big stand for the first wicket. They moved one aggressively as West Zone’s captain Yusuf Pathan kept changing their bowlers. Agarwal brought up his fifty in 55 balls with seven off them hitting the fence. On other hand Uthappa focussed more on running between the wickets as his innings off 47 came off 49 balls had just two boundaries. His innings came to a very end when the batsmen tried for an unnecessary run which brought curtains down for their 104 run stand in 18 overs.

However, Agarwal got support from Aparajith, who smashed a brilliant century in the previous game. The managed their team to maintain the team’s run rate up to six. Finally Agarwal’s innings came to end with some clever display from Hooda stumped out Mayank who scored 86 off 87 and shared 76 run stand with Aparajith. Soon Aparajith’s solid innings also came to end after scoring 56. Later Karun Nair and Manish Pandey accelerated South Zone’s innings by scoring quick fire 55 and 35 respectively sharing a stand of 62 runs for fourth wicket. With helped of quick runs from other batsmen, South Zone managed to post 314 for 7 in 50 overs.

Chasing 315 in the semi-final, West Zone lost wicket of Smit Patel early on. But Jackson and Indian Team’s new star batsman, Ambati Rayudu kept the momentum going for West Zone. Jackson kept hitting boundaries regularly completed his fifty in 55 balls but departed in the same over after sharing a stand of 91 with Rayudu. Rayudu who took his time to get going attacked the South Zone’s bowlers and brought up his fifty by pulling a six over midwicket in 42 balls. But he too departed soon after Jackson for a run a ball 54. But a sudden batting collapse almost ruled out West Zone out of the game.

They lost wickets of Kedar Jadhav, Yusuf Pathan and Deepak Hooda as they collapsed to 174 for 6 from 118 for 1. But some Sizzling batting from Surya Kumar Yadav and Akshar Patel turned the game in the batting powerplay. Surya Kumar Yadav kept sending ball towards the fence as he raced up to 50 in 44 balls and later to 80 in 54 balls. But finally his innings came to an end when he tried to smash one over fence but caught a boundary which brought end to a 70 run stand came off just 6 overs.

But Akshar Patel on other end continued his hitting as he brought up his fifty in just 30 deliveries helping his team to yield 67 runs in batting powerplay. Despite of losing Kulkarni, with required rate in limit Akshar and Thakkur managed to pile up singles.

With 22 needing of last 23 balls, with two wickets in hand, Sharad Thakkur, the no.10 batsman took over Ashish Reddy hitting for a 6, 4, 4 and a 6 bringing down the equation to 2 needing of last three overs. It just took one delivery for Akshar who smashed a Six remaining unbeaten of 64 of just 38 balls.

South Zone Innings:

 

Batsmen

Mode of Dismissal 

Runs

Balls

Robin Uthappa

Run Out Thakur

47

49

Mayank Agarwal

st Patel b Hooda

86

87

B Aparajith

c Thakur b Dhawal

56

64

Manish Pandey

c Jadhav b Muthuswamy

55

50

Karun Nair

c Rayudu b Dhawal

35

34

Stuart Binny

c & b Dhawal

16

11

Sanju Samson

Run Out Akshar

7

4

Vinay Kumar

NOT OUT

1

1

Extras

(w 5, lb 6)

11

 

Total

(7 wickets; 50 overs)

314

West Zone Bowling:

BOWLER

O

R

W

 

Dhawal Kulkarni

10

64

3

 

Shardul Thakur

8

79

0

 

D J Muthuswamy

10

44

1

 

Akshar Patel

10

52

0

 

Deepak Hooda

6

36

1

 

Yusuf Pathan

6

33

0

West Zone Batting:

Batsmen

Mode of Dismissal

Runs

Balls

Smit Patel

c Samson b Binny

11

21

Sheldon Jackson

c Samson b Ashish

51

57

Ambati Rayudu

lbw Vinay

54

53

K M Jadhav

c Pandey b Misal

15

24

Suryakumar Yadav

c Aparajith b Binny

80

56

Yusuf Pathan

c Pandey b Vinay

2

3

Deepak Hooda

st Uthappa b Pandey

1

3

Akshar Patel

Not Out

64

38

Dhawal Kulkarni

c Baby b Binny

0

4

Shardul Thakur

Not Out

31

23

EXTRAS

(w 8, lb 2)

10

TOTAL

(8 wickets; 47.1 overs)

319

South Zone Bowling:

Bowler

Overs

Runs

Wickets

Vinay Kumar

9.5

70

2

Abhimanyu Mithun

7

38

0

Stuart Binny

8

66

3

Darshan Misal

8

42

1

Ashish Reddy

9

70

1

Manish Pandey

2

8

1

B Aparajith

3.1

23

0