Sai Sudharsan is going through the kind of purple patch every batter dreams of. On Tuesday, the 21-year-old Tamil Nadu batter slammed a sensational unbeaten hundred (132 n.o., 136b, 11x4, 1x6) to help South Zone beat Central Zone by seven wickets in the final league match of the Deodhar Trophy here at the Siechem Stadium.
After a scratchy half-century in the first match against East Zone, the youngster was in his element showing great maturity in the way he paced his innings.
Chasing 262 for victory, Sudharsan started with some stylish flicks in the PowerPlay against Shivam Mavi as he got his side off to a good start.
He effectively walked in as an opener when skipper Mayank Agarwal retired hurt after copping a throw on his leg when he was at the non-striker’s end.
Sai then had a good partnership with Rohit Rayudu (37), adding 69 for the third wicket in which he was happy to let his partner go for the boundaries.
Once Rayudu got out, Sai took charge, hitting Karn Sharma for four boundaries with two cuts and two pulls in quick succession as he raced to his century.
He also found good support from his fellow TN left-hander Washington Sundar, who kept it simple with a sensible knock (43 n.o.,58b, 2x4) as the duo added an unbroken 114-run stand for the fourth wicket and ensured South maintained its unbeaten run.
Earlier, Central made a competitive 261 for nine thanks to Yash Dubey’s 77 (99b, 5x4, 1x6) and a cameo from Shivam Mavi (38, 22b, 3x4, 3x6) lower down the order after electing to bat.
Dubey kept it simple, targeting the straight boundaries against the South Zone off-spinners and got to his half-century in style, depositing off-spinner Mohit Redkar for a six over long-on.
But South fought back, with Redkar (3/51) and Sijomon Joseph taking four wickets during the middle phase. Redkar first had Rinku trapped leg-before with the batter playing down the wrong line to a delivery that left him while Venkatesh Iyer gave a simple return catch.
When Dubey sliced Arjun to the backward point fielder, Central went from 167 for three to 183 for seven.
Mavi gave his side some hope with some clean hitting as he went after Redkar hitting for two sixes and a four in one over as Central scored 81 in the last ten. But in the end, it was not enough against the rampaging South Zone side.
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