Rajpoot wins a thriller for Central

After failing to connect the penultimate ball from the spinner, Ankit Rajpoot came down the pitch and hit the last ball straight down the ground towards the sightscreen for Central Zone to go past South’s 181 and take the runner-up position in the five team league.

Ankit Rajpoot’s last ball boundary of left arm spinner Rahil Shah provided a thrilling finish to a match.   -  Kommuri Srinivas

Ankit Rajpoot’s last ball boundary of left arm spinner Rahil Shah provided a thrilling finish to a match of purely academic interest after East Zone had clinched the Syed Mushtaq Ali Inter-Zonal T20 league defeating West Zone in the first match at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.

After failing to connect the penultimate ball from the spinner, Rajpoot came down the pitch and hit the last ball straight down the ground towards the sightscreen for Central Zone to go past South’s 181 and take the runner-up position in the five team league.

South, which had set a target of a little over nine and over, was in control of the match at the end of 18th over, but Central with its in-form batsman Harpreet Singh Bhatia in the middle believed it could still score 23 needed in the last two overs and succeeded.

The left handed Bhatia hit seamer Sandeep Warrier for two fours and then Amit Mishra carted him for a high six over mid wicket.

Warrier conceded 19 runs in his last over, but the clever Shah, had Bhatia caught at point of the first ball of the 20th over and brought his team back in contention.

Eventually fortune favoured the brave, as Rajpoot decided to go for broke, connected the ball and more importantly got the direct right. The man-of-the-match for Central though was Bhatia who made 92 off 51 balls with 10 fours and 4 sixes.

South Zone: Vishnu Vinod c Dhaliwal b Choudhary 31 ; Maynak Agarwal c Dhaliwal b Choudhary 5 ; Ricky Bhui c & b Karn Sharma 17 ; Dinesh Karthik c Akshdeep Nath b Karn Sharma 35 ; Vijay Shankar c Ojha b Rajpoot 40 ; Pavan Deshpande 33 not out ; Swaroop Kumar run out 7 ; M. Ashwin c Dhaliwal b Rajpoot 2 ; C.V. Milind not out 2 ; Extras (lb-5,w-4) 9, Total (for 7 wkts in 20 overs) 181

Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-37,3-73, 4-100, 5-149, 6-169, 7-170

Central Zone bowling: Ankit Rajpoot 4-0-28-2, Aniket Chaudhary 4-0-36-2, Amit Mishra, 4-0-45-0, Karn Sharma 4-0-31-2, Sohraab Dhaliwal 4-0-36-0.



Central Zone: Naman Ojha c Milind b Shah 0 ; A.N.Khare st. Karthik b Swaroop Kumar 39 ; Harpreet Singh c Vijay Shankar b Shah 92 ; A.T. Rayudu run out 11 ; Mahesh Rawat c Karthik v Vijay Shankar 2 ; Akshdeep Nath c Karthik b Milind 4 ; Karn Sharma c Milind Warrier 1 ; Sohraab Dhaliwal c Bhui b Ashwin 10 ; Amit Mishra not out 13 ; Ankit Rajpoot not out 5 ; Extras (b-2,lb-1,w-4) 7, Total (for 8 wkts in 20 overs) 184

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-67, 3-90, 4-111, 5-116, 6-130, 7-147, 8-178

South Zone bowling: Rahil Shah 3-0-20-2, Sandeep Warrier 4-0-52-1, Chama Milind 4-0-32-1, Murugan Ashwin 4-0-43-1, Swaroop Kumar 3-0-20-1, Vijay Shankar 2-1-14-1.