Guwahati: Half-centuries by senior pro Yuvraj Singh and the talented Unmukt Chand helped North Zone cruise to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Central Zone to enter the Deodhar Trophy final, here on Monday. North will meet the winner of the second semi-final between South Zone and West Zone scheduled to be played on Tuesday.
North Zone captain Gautam Gambhir opted to field and his bowlers responded well by bundling out Central for a paltry 190 in 41.5 overs in match that was first curtailed to 45-overs-per side. Due to inclement weather, North's target was revised to 160 in 33 overs and the winners got their with 19 balls to spare. The highlight of the North chase was a partnership of 129 runs between Yuvraj (77) and Unmukt (56).
While the youngster decided to drop anchor at one end facing 85 balls and hitting five fours, his senior partner looked in fluent touch as banged nine fours and three sixes.
Out of the three, a couple were hit off Piyush Chawla's bowling --- over deep mid-wicket and straight over bowler's head. The other one was off Suresh Raina's bowling. The Test discard also hit four successive boundaries of Vidarbha's left-arm seamer Shrikant Wagh.
For North, skipper Gambhir (9) was dismissed by comeback man Praveen Kumar as the left-hander edged one to Mohammed Kaif in the slips. Praveen was the only one, who was impressive among the Central bowlers as he got the ball to swing both ways. This was his comeback match after BCCI overturned his suspension a couple of days back.
Brief scores: Central Zone 190 in 41.5 overs (Ashok Menaria 34, Amit Mishra 3 for 50, Rajat Paliwal 2 for 14). North Zone 160 for 2 (target 160 in 33 overs) (Yuvraj Singh 77 not out, Unmukt Chand 56 not out). North Zone win by 8 wickets.
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