South Zone advanced to the Deodhar Trophy final after Sai Sudharsan’s unbroken 132 set up a dominant seven-win over Central Zone on Tuesday.
Sai Sudharsan’s undefeated 132 on Tuesday helped South Zone defeat Central Zone by a decisive seven runs, advancing them directly to the Deodhar Trophy final. The final will now be played here on Thursday, pitting South Zone against East Zone. South Zone’s victory was also their fifth straight, giving them 20 points and a commanding lead over the opposition. East Zone, who ended second with 16 points following a big 157-run victory over West Zone earlier in the day, had four victories and one defeat in their five round-robin games. Sudharsan led his team’s pursuit after Central Zone, having chosen to bat first, amassed 261 for nine in 50 overs.
Sudharsan, a left-handed batsman, had previously hit a respectable 53 against East Zone in his first appearance in the league, thus this was another solid outing with the bat for him.
Despite the fact that their skipper Mayank Agarwal had to leave the game due to injury before facing a delivery, South Zone did not find the 261-run goal to be at all intimidating.
Narayan Jagadeesan too failed to capitalise on his start, walking back for 19, while opening batter Rohan Kunnummal was dismissed after a 27-ball 23 that included three fours and a six.
The 49th over saw Washington Sundar (43 not out) and Rohit Rayudu (37) help Sudharsan, who had dropped the anchor in the middle, get his team across the finish line.
South Zone won the match with eight balls and seven wickets to spare.
Earlier in the first half, Yash Dubey led the way with 77 (99 balls, 5x4s, 1x6s), while many other Central Zone batters failed to convert.
Upendra Yadav and Rinku Singh both perished for identical scores of 26.
To their credit, the Central Zone lower-order performed an admirable job of leading their team as far as they could.
Saransh Jain made a fast 23 while Shivam Mavi hit three sixes and four fours to make a 22-ball 38.
Mohit Redkar took three wickets for 51 runs in nine overs for South Zone, while Arjun Tendulkar was equally costly at 10-0-65-2. Vasuki Koushik returned 7-1-15-2, with Vijaykumar Vyshak and Sijomon Joseph each taking one wicket.