ANI Photo | Kunnummal-Mayank partnership, Sundar’s spell power South Zone to Deodhar Trophy title, beat East Zone by 45 runs

Explosive opening partnership by Rohan Kunnummal and skipper Mayank Agarwal and a three-wicket haul by Washington Sundar helped the South Zone clinch the Deodhar Trophy title 2023, defeating East Zone by 45 runs in the final at Puducherry on Thursday. 
In a chase of 329, East Zone was off to a nightmarish start. Vasuki Koushik and Vidwath Kaverappa delivered some high-class medium-pace bowling, dismissing top-order batters Abhimanyu Easwaran (1), Virat Singh (6) and Utkarsh Singh (4), sinking East to 17/3. 
Following these early hiccups, skipper Saurabh Tiwary and Sudip Kumar Gharami stabilised the innings. With some careful shot-making, they brought East back into contention. 
East reached the 50-run mark in 11 overs. 
Washington Sundar ended the 55-run partnership for the fourth wicket, dismissing Tiwary for 28 off 33 balls, consisting of three fours and a six. East was at 72/4 in 16 overs. 
Sudip continued rebuilding East Zone’s innings with young all-rounder Riyan Parag, who had hit two centuries previously in the tournament. 
East Zone reached the 100-run mark in 21.1 overs. 
Sai Kishore disrupted East’s run chase once again, breaking a 43-run partnership between Sudip-Parag, dismissing Sudip for 41 off 63 balls, consisting of four boundaries. East Zone was in trouble at 115/5 in 24.4 overs, with just half the wickets and more than 200 runs left in hand to chase. 
Parag put on an excellent show, continuing his brilliant form in domestic cricket. He joined forces with wicketkeeper-batter Kumar Kushagra and both took the South Zone bowlers apart. 
East Zone reached the 150-run mark in 29.1 overs. 
The team reached its 200 runs in 35.5 overs. Parag and Kushagra had accelerated the rate of scoring, adding 100 runs in around 14 overs or so. 
Sundar dismissed Parag, who fell short five runs of his third century in the tournament after he was trapped leg-before-wicket. Parag was gone for 95 in 65 balls, consisting of eight fours and five sixes. East Zone was at 220/6 in 38 overs, needing 109 in 12 overs. 
Kushagra and Shahbaz Ahmed joined forces and continued East Zone’s fight. 
East Zone brought up their 250 runs in 41.2 overs. 
Sundar took his third wicket, with the assistance of Rohit Rayudu’s safe hands, dismissing Kushagra for 68 off 58 balls, consisting of six fours and three sixes. East Zone was at 259/7 in 42 overs. 
The rest of the batting line-up could not put up a fight and East Zone was bundled out for 283 runs in 46.1 overs, losing by 45 runs. 
Washington Sundar (3/60) was the best bowler for South Zone. Kewarappa, Koushik and Vijaykumar Vyshak got two wickets each. Sai Kishore took one wicket each. 
Electing to bat first, South Zone was off to an incredible start. The opening duo of Rohan Kunnummal and skipper Mayank Agarwal smashed East Zone bowlers left and right. 
South Zone reached the 50-run mark in 6.4 overs. 
Kunnummal brought up his half-century in just 33 balls. 
Mayank and Rohan had no mercy whatsoever on bowlers, taking their team to the 100-run mark in just 12.5 overs. 
South Zone reached the 150-run mark in 20 overs. 
Mayank reached his half-century in 61 balls. 
Kunnummal was on fire, bringing up his century in just 68 balls, consisting of 11 fours and four sixes. 
The partnership between the duo was broken at 181 runs, with Utkarsh Singh dismissing Kunnummal for 107 in 75 balls. 
Utkarsh soon dismissed skipper Mayank for 63 in 83 balls, consisting of four boundaries. South Zone was at 184/2 in 26.2 overs. 
South Zone brought up its 200-run mark in 29.2 overs. 
Sai Sudharsan was dismissed for 19 by Riyan Parag after he was caught behind by Kushagra. South Zone was 212/3 in 31.1 overs.
Narayan Jagadeesan, the wicketkeeper-batter and Rohit Rayadu helped South Zone stabilise their innings after some quick wickets. 
250 runs were up for South Zone in 40.2 overs. 
Shahbaz dismissed Rayadu for 26 off 33 balls after he was caught by Tiwary. South was at 256/4 in 41.3 overs. 
Washington Sundar (0) and Arun Karthik (2) were dismissed quickly, reducing South to 268/6 in 43.3 overs. 
South Zone reached the 300-run mark in 47.1 overs. 
Jagadeeeshan reached his fifty in 57 balls. 
Manisankar Murasingh ended Jagadeeeshan’s innings at 54 in 60 balls, consisting of two fours and a six. South Zone was at 310/7 in 48.1 overs. 
Vijaykumar Vyshak (11) was dismissed by Akash Deep. South was at 328/8 and innings were over at this point. 
Shahbaz Ahmed, Riyan and Utkarsh Singh took two wickets each. Akash Deep and Murasingh took a wicket each. (ANI)

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