Chandigarh: Central Zone defeated the star-studded North Zone by four runs in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Inter Zonal T20 cricket match at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai here on Wednesday.
Skipper Naman Ojha’s and Railways batsman Manish Rawat made the difference for Central Zone. The captain scored 48 while Rawat blasted unbeaten half century of 57runs off 40 balls. Central Zone posted a total of 167/7 after being sent in to bat. Later they restricted North Zone to 163/6.
Ojha and Rawat helped Central recover from a dismal 40runs for 3 wickets with a 52-run fourth wicket stand before the latter rallied with the lower order batsmen Karn Sharma (15) and Amit Mishra (18) — to help the team post 167.
For North Zone, veteran India pacer Ashish Nehra returned with figures of 3 wickets for 26runs while another India star Harbhajan Singh took 2 wickets for 35runs. Medium pacer Manpreet Gony chipped in with one wicket.
In reply, the Delhi duo of Shikhar Dhawan (37) and Gautam Gambhir (20) gave North Zone a flying 48-run opening start before wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant (25) and Yuvraj Singh (33) took the side near the victory line. But leg-spinner Karn Sharma’s miserly spell of 3 for 17runs from his four overs tightened the screws on North which finished short by four runs in the end.
Brief Scores: Central Zone 167/7 (Manish Rawat 57 not out, Naman Ojha 48, Ashish Nehra 3/26, Harbhajan Singh 2/35) beat North Zone 163/6 (Shikhar Dhawan 37, Yuvraj Singh 33, Rishabh Pant 25, Karn Sharma 3/17) by four runs.