Deodhar Trophy: Priyank Panchal`s unbeaten 99 takes West Zone past North East

Skipper Priyank Panchal smashed an unbeaten 99 off 69 balls as West Zone defeated North East Zone by nine wickets in an opening round-robin league match of the Deodhar Trophy here on Monday.

Panchal, normally known for his patient approach in red ball format, hit as many as seven sixes and an equal number of boundaries in West Zone`s emphatic 208-run chase in just 25.1 overs.

His opening partner Harvik Desai (85 off 71 balls) was equally attacking with 14 boundaries coming off his blazing bat during the 167-run opening stand in only 21.1 overs.

While Panchal`s boundaries primarily came square of the wicket, half a dozen of his seven sixes were in the arc between deep mid-wicket and long-on. The worst sufferer was left-arm spinner Imliwati Lemtur (0/47 in 4 overs), who was hit for three sixes.

However, a gritty bowling effort from West Zone bowlers played an equally important role in their victory with Nagwaswalla (3/31 in 7 overs) and seasoned Mumbai left-arm spinner Shams Mulani (2/37 in 10 overs) doing bulk of the damage. North East were all-out for 207 in just 47 overs.

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After being put into bat, North East lost opener Anup Ahlawat (6) early in the third over to pacer left-arm seamer Arzan Nagwaswalla.

Fellow opener Nilesh Lamichaney (22) and Jehu Anderson (24) added 40 runs for the second wicket before the former fell to medium-pacer Atit Sheth in the 12th over.

The incoming batters struggled to build a solid partnership and North East were left tottering at 104 for 5 by the 28th over with skipper Langlonyamba Keishangbam (30) departing to pacer Shivam Dube.

By the 36th over, the side was reeling at 144 for 7 before Larry Sangma (16) and Lemtur (38) contributed to a brief 49-run stand for the eighth wicket.

The partnership was broken by medium-pacer Chintan Gaja in the 46th, while eventually, the team was bundled for 207 by the 47th over, with Lemtur being the top scorer, having struck five fours and a six.

Brief scores:

North East 207 in 47 overs (Lemtur – 38; Nagwaswalla – 3/31) lost to West Zone 208/1 in 25.1 overs (Desai – 85, Panchal – 99*; Yong Lepcha – 1/29) by nine wickets.

(With PTI inputs)

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