East Zone easily defeated Central Zone by six wickets in a round robin league match in the Deodhar Trophy thanks to the combined efforts of Akash Deep and Shahbaz Ahmed, who each took three wickets.
East Zone cruised to a six-wicket victory over Central Zone on Monday in a round robin league match of the Deodhar Trophy in Puducherry thanks to Bengal bowlers Akash Deep and Shahbaz Ahmed, who each took three wickets. To dismiss Central for 207 in 50 overs, left-arm spinner Shahbaz (3/30 in 10 overs) and pacer Akash (3/35 in 10 overs) were both frugal while achieving breakthroughs at regular intervals. Only Rinku Singh, who just received his first call-up to the national squad for the Asian Games, appeared to be in good shape. He scored 54 off 63 balls on a surface that wasn’t favourable for stroke play.
East were never in a hurry in reply, surpassing the goal in 46.1 overs, exacting sweet revenge for their Duleep Trophy loss.
With a 91-run opening stand with the experienced Abhimanyu Easwaran (38 off 55 balls), left-handed opener Utkarsh Singh anchored the chase.
East batters didn’t take many chances despite Utkarsh’s 11 fours and three sixes.
The bowlers, however, did an excellent job of setting it up on a track where the ball periodically halted while going on to the bat.
Even Rinku couldn’t play huge shots since he focused on singles and only had two sixes – one each off left-arm spinner Avinav Choudhary and off-spinner Utkarsh. After Mani Shankar Mura Singh (3 wickets) got Rinku, the final four wickets fell for only 31 runs.