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Jan 30, 2012 at 05:17pm IST

East Zone enter Duleep semis in style

Valsad: A disciplined all-round performance by East Zone helped them beat West by five wickets to make it to the semi-final of the Duleep Trophy, here on Monday.

East will meet North Zone in the semi-final scheduled to be played in Delhi from February 4.

After a batting collapse saw West lose five wickets for 21 runs, East were left to chase a target of 173, which they successfully did in 56.3 overs despite a few hiccups.

East Zone enter Duleep Trophy semis in style

Beat West Zone by five wickets to make it to the semi-final against North Zone.

Having conceded the first innings lead, West - who were leading by 102 runs at the end of third day - needed to put up a decent total in order to enforce an outright victory.

Kaustubh Pawar (37) and Abhishek Nayar (58) started in right earnest, with the latter starting to attack the East bowlers. Their sixth-wicket partnership produced 69 runs.

At 180 for five, the slide was started by Dinda when he forced Kaustubh to edge one to Shreevats Goswami behind the stumps.

In Dinda's very next over, he bowled Akshay Darekar (1).

Starting to run out of partners, Nayar began a counter-attack including a couple of sixes off left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem to complete his 50 and team's 200.

But Nadeem got both Sandeep Maniar (1) and Samad Fallah (0) before Dinda removed Nayar caught by Behera.

When East started their chase, almost all batsmen got good starts but couldn't finish off the game as the winners were reduced to 121 for five. It was left-arm spinner Darekar (5/87) who got all the wickets.

But an unbroken 52-run stand between Biplab Samantray (27 not out) and Anushtup Majumdar (26 not out) clinched the issue. Nataraj Behera contributed 34.

Brief Scores: West Zone 314 and 201 (A Nayar 58, A Dinda 3/82, AN Ahmed 3/31). East Zone 343 and 173/5 (Nataraj Behera 34, A Majumdar 27 not out).

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