Priyank Panchal’s West Zone will face Saurabh Tiwary’s East Zone in a round-five match — a virtual semifinal — of the Deodhar Trophy at the Cricket Association Puducherry Ground 2 on Tuesday.
West is coming off a dominating win over North Zone, catalysed by Shivam Dube and Kathan Patel’s unbeaten 138-run partnership. On the other hand, East lost its first game to South Zone on Sunday to set up a do-or-die encounter en route to the final.
East, with a net run rate of 0.914, is currently in second place. West Zone, with 0.642, is third after four rounds.
Riyan Parag and Shahbaz Ahmed have been the consistent performers for East. The 21-year-old Parag has 157 runs at a strike rate of 124 and an average of 52.33 in three matches, including a match-winning 131 against North. He has also taken nine wickets, averaging 13.33. Shahbaz, meanwhile, has kept things tight with his slow left-arm spin, bowling at an economy of 3.92 in four games and picking nine wickets at 17. There have also been meaningful contributions with the bat from captain Abhimanyu Easwaran and Kumar Kushagra. The lower order has shown spine when under pressure.
Shams Mulani, with his left-arm spin, has been the trump card for West with nine wickets at an economy of 3.75 in four games while averaging 16.66. Opener Harvik Desai has topped the batting charts for West with 209 runs at an average of 52.25 in four games. Dube’s form will be a big boost as well.
While West has displayed bouncebackability, East has had the upper hand for the most part. The winner will take on South Zone, the only team that has defeated both, in the final.
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