CUTTACK, Jan 22 (PTI): Hostile spells from pace trio of Rudra Pratap Singh, Pankaj Singh and Umesh Yadav saw Central Zone register a fantastic nine-wicket win over East Zone in a Duleep Trophy quarterfinal match which concluded at the Barabati Stadium today.
East Zone, who had a first innings lead of 37 runs were shot out for a meagre 96 in their second essay thanks to some inspired bowling by RP (3/42), Pankaj (3/34) and Yadav (3/17).
Needing 134 to win, Central Zone openers Aakash Chopra (59 not out, 10x4) and Mohnish Mishra (50, 6x4, 2x6) sealed the issue as they won inside 35 overs. The East batsmen simply didn�t have an answer to pace and swing generated by the pacers as they failed to survive more than 35.4 overs. Barring skipper Manoj Tiwary (21, 3x4), none of the East batsmen were able to apply themselves. All East needed was to bat out time in order to win by virtue of first innings lead.
The East batsmen despite being in an advantageous position spurned the chance of making it to the last four as the batsmen suddenly got into a shell. This gave the Central Zone pacers more chance to press home the advantage. Rather than showing positive intent, home team batsmen succumbed in pressure situation.