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Bengal bowlers Akash Deep and Shahbaz Ahmed strike for East Zone in easy win in Deodhar Trophy

Rinku Singh looked in good nick and scored 54 off 63 balls on a track that wasn’t conducive for stroke-play

PTI Pondicherry Published 25.07.23, 06:57 AM
Akash Deep.

Akash Deep. File photo

Bengal bowlers Akash Deep and Shahbaz Ahmed kept a tight leash on Central Zone with three wickets apiece as East Zone cantered to a six-wicket victory in their Deodhar Trophy opener here on Monday.

Left-arm spinner Shahbaz (3/30 in 10 overs) and pacer Akash (3/35 in 10 overs) were both economical as well while getting breakthroughs at regular intervals to help bowl Central out for 207 in 50 overs.


Only Rinku Singh, who recently earned his maiden call-up to the India squad for the Asian Games, looked in good nick and scored 54 off 63 balls on a track that wasn’t conducive for stroke-play.

In reply, East were never in a hurry as they surpassed the target in 46.1 overs.

Left-handed opener Utkarsh Singh anchored the chase with a well-compiled 89 off 104 balls and a 91-run opening stand with the experienced Abhimanyu Easwaran (38 off 55 balls) which put them on course for victory.

With literally no scoreboard pressure, East batters didn’t take much risk even though Utkarsh had 11 fours and three sixes to his credit. Rather, it were the East bowlers, who set it up nicely on a track where the ball occasionally stopped while coming on to the bat.

It didn’t help Central when one of the openers, Aryan Juyal (39), had to retire hurt during the first Powerplay before Shahbaz’s wicket-to-wicket bowling didn’t allow the Central batters to get away.

Even Rinku couldn’t really play big shots as he concentrated on singles and had only two sixes, hitting one each off left-arm spinner Avinav Choudhary and off-spinner Utkarsh. Once Mani Shankar Murasingh (three wickets) got Rinku, the last four Central wickets fell for only 31 runs.

In another game at the Cricket Association of Pondicherry Ground 2, West Zone motored to a nine-wicket win over North East Zone. Put into bat, North East managed just 207 in 47 overs. In reply, openers Harvik Desai (85) and Priyank Panchal (99 not out) helped West romp home with 149 balls remaining.

Summarised scores

Central Zone 207 in 50 overs (Rinku Singh 54; Akash Deep 3/35, Shahbaz Ahmed 3/30). East Zone 208/4 in 46.1 overs (Utkarsh Singh 89; Karn Sharma 3/35). East Zone won by 6 wickets.

North East Zone 207 in 47 overs (Imliwati Lemtur 38; Arzan Nagwaswalla 3/31). West Zone 208/1 in 25.1 overs (Priyank Panchal 99 not out, Harvik Desai 85). West Zone won by 9 wickets.

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