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East Zone bag Syed Mushtaq Ali Inter Zonal Trophy with fourth consecutive win

by   •  Last updated on 2020-04-13 16:56:30

East Zone clinched the Syed Mushtaq Ali Inter Zonal Trophy wit their fourth consecutive win as they trounced West Zone by eight wickets on the final day of the tournament at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday (February 18). Set a target of 150, they polished off the chase in 13.4 overs after Virat Singh's 34-ball 58 and Ishank Jaggi's stroke-filled 56.

Virat continued his good run and made a tricky chase a walk in the park for East Zone. Fresh from an unbeaten 74 in the last game, he gave the team a brisk start with Arun Karthik, who was included in the side in place of Shreevats Goswami.

The duo scored 61 in the first five overs to get the chase going before Shardul Thakur had Karthik caught behind for 24 off 14. Joined by Jaggi, who was included in the Indian Premier League auction after his splendid show in the initial games, East Zone continued their march towards the target without much fuss. They scored 80 runs for the second wicket in 44 deliveries to cap off a memorable win.

Supremely confident, the duo matched each other stroke by stroke and dismissed the bowlers with disdain, leaving very few options for Parthiv Patel, the West Zone captain.

Earlier, Manoj Tiwary won his fourth consecutive toss and had no hesitation in bowling first. Parthiv too made it pretty clear he was going to bowl first and that the toss will play a crucial role in the game.

Parthiv and Sheldon Jackson (52) made a cautious start, scoring 35 in 4.4 overs to ease the nerves the dressing room. However, they then suffered telling blows when the captain and Aditya Tare (1) were dismissed in space of four balls to leave them at 36 for 2.

Deepak Hooda (36) steadied the innings with Jackson but a careless stroke from the former meant after all the good work, the advantage was again handed back to East Zone. Trying to dab the ball to third man, Hooda made too much room and was late in bring the bat down. As expected, the stumps were dislodged by Sayan Ghosh even before he was able to make a move.

Prerak Mankad (20 off 15) and Rujul Bhatt (36 off 20) scored 53 in 5.2 overs to lift the team towards 150. Pritam Das bagged two wickets for 25 while Suryakant Pradhan, Pragyan Ojha and Ghosh ended with one each.

With this win, East Zone also ended hopes of Central Zone, who can now aim to finish as runner-ups if they beat South Zone.

Brief scores: West Zone 149/5 in 20 overs (Sheldon Jackson 52; Pritam Das 2-25) lost to East Zone 153/2 in 13.4 overs (Virat Singh 58*; Ishank Jaggi 56) by eight wickets.