February 24, 2017

Syed Mushtaq Ali: Agarwal hits fifty as South Zone beats West Zone

17 February 2017, 01:12 | Joan Schultz

Mayank Agarwal (70) struck a terrific half-century as South Zone picked up their first victory of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Inter Zonal tournament beating West Zone by 5 wickets at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. On Thursday, they defeated North Zone by eight wickets to stake a solid claim to win the tournament. With this win, East Zone have won all their three matches and are on the verge of winning the title while North Zone's tournament came to an end with the Harbhajan Singh-led side managing to win just one out of their four matches. And despite the absence of his frontline bowlers, Ashok Dinda and Shahbaz Nadeem, Tiwary backed his reserve bowlers to get the job done for his team.

Put in to bat, North could not make the most of the good starts made by Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Unmukt Chand and Yuvraj Singh.

While Chama Milind was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, it was a disciplined effort by South Zone who kept things tight to hold the opposition to the below-par total.

Yuvraj Singh top scored with a 24-ball 38. Verma then had Parvez Rasoom hit-wicket and thereafter the North innings declined to a modest 159 on a good batting track.

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Left-hand seamer Pradeep Sangwan struck of the very first ball of the East chase when left-hander Shreevats Goswami followed a ball outside the off stump and nicked it to wicket-keeper Chand. Agarwal then took over the attacking reins. But an initially circumspect Virat and Tiwary dominated the proceedings thereafter to take their team to a memorable win. For South Zone, Chama Milind picked up 3 wickets while Rahil, Ashwin and Vijay ended with 2 wickets apiece.

Led by skipper Manoj Tiwary's 75 not out off 43 balls that include 5 boundaries and 5 hits into the crowd and opener Virat Singh's 74 off 48 balls that was studded with 9 fours and 2 sixes, East chased down North's 159 for 9 in 16.3 overs.

The duo joined forced with the East zone struggling at 13 for 2 after pacers Pradeep Sangwan and Umar Nazir packed back Goswami and Jaggi cheaply.

East Zone bowling: Sayan Ghosh 3-0-27-2, Priram Das 3-0-32-2, Suryakant Pradhan 3-0-16-0, Manoj Tiwary 1-0-14-0, Writtick Chatterjee 4-0-18-0, Pragyan Ojha 4-0-33-3, Amit Verma 2-0-18-2.

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