Defending champion West Zone won the Prof. D.B. Deodhar Trophy for the 12th time making light of North Zone’s challenge at the Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.

Put in on a two-paced wicket, North amassed 289 for eight, thanks to opener Unmukt Chand (88) and Yuvraj Singh (67) and a late charge by tailenders Parveez Rasool and Manpreet Grewal.

With the pitch easing out in the second half, West had no problems, reaching the target in 48.2 overs. The victory was made possible with the West top order playing sensibly and building partnerships. Skipper Parthiv Patel made a polished 58, Manprit Juneja an enterprising 56, man-of-the-match Ambati Rayudu made a splendid unbeaten 78 and Kedar Jadhav’s saw the team through with a half-century.

North skipper Gautam Gambhir opened the bowling with off-break Parveez Rasool and his gamble paid off as Vijay Zol was trapped leg-before. Juneja and Parthiv then took charge with the latter playing some fluent shots. Parthiv reached his half-century with a terrific pull of Grewal and fell when he was deceived by a flighted delivery from Mishra.

Soon Juneja too reached his half-century hoisting Mishra for a straight six off a free hit. However, he fell soon after, offering a return catch to Grewal. His 63-ball 56 with seven fours and a six set the pace for the chase.

Rayudu in fine nick

After Yusuf Pathan was out to a brilliant catch by Unmukt off Siddharth Kaul at point, the young Rayudu took centre stage and found good support from Kedar Jadhav. Rayudu’s square drive off Awana in the 24th over was a stamp of class.

The two brought up the 200 of the innings in 34.4 overs. After smashing a Mishra full toss to square-leg, Jadhav leaned forward to execute a super drive through extra-cover off Awana and then reached his half-century with a boundary to third man.

Mishra deceived Jadhav with flight to have him stumped for 57 (43b, 8x4) but by then the match was in West’s control. Rayudu remained unbeaten on 78 with nine hits to the fence.

When North began, there was bounce and movement for the seamers. North lost Chandan Madan and Gambhir early. Unmukt and Yuvraj then came together to bolster the innings with a 120-run partnership for the third wicket in 18 overs.

It was another classy knock by Yuvraj. A glace off the hip and an on-drive off the next ball off Abhishek Nayar to the fence summed up Yuvraj’s mood. A fine sweep off Kamlesh Makvana, a back-foot hoist to mid-wicket for six and a cover drive off Makvana had the spectators rooting for more.

The scores:

North: Unmukt c Juneja b Unadkat 88, C. Madan c Parthiv b Nayar 17, G. Gambhir c Unadkat b Dhruv 9, Yuvraj lbw b Unadkat 67, Mandeep c (sub) b Munaf 6, R. Paliwal (run out) 17, A. Mishra (run out) 4, P. Rasool (run out) 32, M. Grewal (not out) 25, S. Kaul (not out) 0; Extras (lb-3, nb-2, w-14, penalty-5): 24; Total (for eight wkts. in 50 overs): 289.

Fall of wickets: 1-59, 2-72, 3-192, 4-199, 5-204, 6-224, 7-239, 8-283.

West bowling: Munaf 12-0-61-1, Unadkat 10-1-72-2, Dhruv 10-1-49-1, Nayar 7-0-28-1, Makvana 6-0-33-0, Yusuf 5-0-38-0.

West: V. Zol lbw b Rasool 12, Parthiv c Mandeep b Mishra 58, M. Juneja c & b Grewal 56, A. Rayudu (not out) 78, Yusuf c Unmukt b Kaul 6, K. Jadhav st. Madan b Mishra 57, A. Nayar (not out) 19; Extras (lb-3, nb-1, w-3): 7; Total (for five wkts. in 48.2 overs): 293.

Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-111, 3-157, 4-175, 5-262.

North bowling: Rasool 10-1-50-1, Kaul 10-0-57-1, Yuvraj 3-0-18-0, Grewal 6-0-52-1, Mishra 12-0-63-2, Awana 4-0-32-0, Paliwal 2-0-7-0, Mandeep 1.2-0-11-0.

Man-of-the-final: A. Rayudu.

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