Virat Kohli is showing no signs of slowing down. The in-form Delhi middle-order batsman struck an unbeaten 79 on Friday as North Zone made light of Centrals seemingly competitive total of 250 for nine,romping home with seven wickets and 2.1 overs to spare.
In the Group A tie of the Deodhar Trophy at the Ravenshaw College ground,North dished out a professional performance with Aakash Chopra (56 off 78) and Rahul Dewan (38 off 37) laying a solid foundation with 89 runs for the first wicket. Skipper Mithun Manhas chipped in with a run-a-ball 44.
Earlier batting first,defending champions Central failed to capitalise on opener Naman Ojhas 100 and lost their way in the last 10 overs. Ojha anchored Centrals batting and was well supported by Kaif (46). But just when it seemed that the innings was heading for a 275-plus total,the batting crumbled. From 183 for 3 at one stage,Central could manage only 67 runs in the slog overs and lost six wickets.
Meanwhile at the Barabati stadium,Wasim Jaffers 110-ball 81 made the difference as West Zone defeated South by 71 runs to effectively make the final.
Jaffer stuck to the basics on a slow and low wicket,helping his team post 223. He put on 42 runs with Ajinkya Rahane (33) for the second wicket and 60 for the third wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara (33). In reply,Souths innings folded up for 152 in 42.2 overs.
Brief scores: West Zone 223 all out in 49.2 overs (W Jaffer 81,R Jadeja 39,C Pujara 33; Arvind 4 for 41) vs South Zone 152 all out in 42.2 overs (Sai 47,R Ashwin 27; Nayar 2 for 26,Patil 2 for 38,Abdulla 2 for 20,Kamlesh Makwana 2 for 17)
Central Zone 250 for 9 in 50 overs (Ojha 100,Kaif 46; Sangwan 3 for 55,Bhatia 2 for 57) vs North Zone 251 for in 47.5 overs (Kohli 79 not out,Chopra 56; RP Singh 1 for 61)