Central Zone beat South, ensure Deodhar Trophy title

March 20th, 2008 - 9:32 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, March 20 (IANS) Faiz Fazal hit a half-century to help Central Zone beat South Zone by five wickets here Thursday and win the Deodhar Trophy for the second successive season. It was their fifth overall. With their third successive win that fetched them five points, Central Zone took their tally to 15 to make sure the title was theirs with one match to go in the limited-overs round-robin tournament.

Technically, West Zone can catch up with Central on points, but they cannot prevent the Mohammad Kaif-led side from winning the trophy as they had lost when the two teams met.

Fazal scored a fine 58 off 95 balls, comprising eight boundaries, and when he was out, the win was just 24 runs away.

South Zone won the toss but were shot out for 163 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal, Hyderabad with pacer Rajesh Kanojia (3 for 29) and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla (3 for 47) doing much of the damage. Rahul Dravid was the top scorer with 51 (70 balls, 4×4s) while Arjun Yadav chipped in with 45 (60 balls, 6×4s).

Replying, Central Zone reached the target in 36.3 overs. Chawla also starred with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 33 off 34 balls (2×4s, 1×6).

Fazal first raised 47 for the opening wicket with Naman Ojha and then added 36 with Kaif for the third wicket after Suresh Raina was out cheaply.

Fazal and Chawla then added 41 for the fifth wicket before S. Badrinath got rid of the opener. Chawla ensured that there were no hiccups for Central Zone.

In the other match of the day, West Zone defeated North by 120 runs in Visakhapatnam.

Captain Wasim Jaffer (64 off 92 balls) and Rohit Sharma (78 off 97 balls) half-centuries to help West post 241 all out in 48.5 overs.

North Zone captain Virender Sehwag bagged four wickets for 17 with his off-spinners and pacer Manpreet Gony captured four for 35.

In reply, North batting failed and the top score was Rajat Bhatia’s 35 (58 balls) while Virat Kohli managed 22 and Sehwag 18 as the team folded up in 35.2 overs.

Munaf Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Iqbal Abdulla and Abhishek Nayar took two wickets apiece to hasten North’s fall.

Central Zone will play their last encounter against East Zone here Sunday, but the result of that match will have no bearing on title.

Brief scores:

In Hyderabad: South Zone: 163 all out in 46.4 overs (Rahul Dravid 51, Arjun Yadav 45, Rajesh Kanojia 3/29, Piyush Chawla 3/47, Praveen Kumar 2/11) Central Zone: 164 for five wickets in 36.3 overs (Faiz Fazal 58, Piyush Chawla 33 not out, Naman Ojha 29, Pragyan Ojha 2/24)

In Visakhapatnam: West Zone: 241 all out in 48.5 overs (Rohit Sharma 78, Wasim Jaffer 64, Virender Sehwag 4/17, Manpreet Gony captured 4/35) North Zone: 121 all out in 35.2 overs (Rajat Bhatia 35, Munaf Patel 2/16, Ajit Agarkar 2/31, Iqbal Abdulla 2/17, Abhishek Nayar 2/18)

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