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North Zone enter Duleep Trophy final

Vadodara: North Zone entered the finals of the Duleep Trophy cricket tournament on the basis of their first innings lead after their semifinal match against defending champions West Zone ended in a draw on the fourth day here on Saturday.

North, who will now take on South Zone in the final of the event, did not go for an outright victory today despite starting the day on a healthy lead of 259 runs here at the Moti Baug ground.

Amit Mishra`s men could have gone for an outright win by declaring their innings early and trying to get the West all out but they decided to give their batsmen some match practice ahead of the crucial final.

After resuming on 191 for three in their second essay today, North went on score 421 all out to set their opponents a target of 485.

At the end of the final day`s play, West Zone reached 61 for three in their second innings in a drawn encounter.

Overnight batsmen in Mithun Manhas, resuming on 48 and Yashpal Singh on eight gave North a perfect start.

While Manhas remained unbeaten on 158, Yashpal chipped in with a valuable 42 as the duo shared a 96-run stand together.

After Yashpal departed, few wickets fell in quick succession but Manhas held on to his ground and played some fine shots.

Sumit Narwal (50) then joined him in the middle and the pair put up a 103-run stand to extend North`s lead even further.

Manhas`s 158 not out came from just 178 balls, including 26 fours during his 265-minute stay at the crease.

For West, Bhargav Bhatt (4 for 104) and Samad Fallah (4 for 113) chipped in with four wickets each.

Chasing an unachievable target, West lost both the openers Harshad Khadiwale (21) and Sahil Kukreja (12) before losing first down batsman Ajinkya Rahane (19) cheaply.

While Vikas Mishra (2 for 5) accounted for two wickets, Narwal (1 for 14) took one.

Brief scores:

North Zone: 460 & 421 all out in 88.5 overs (Mithun Manhas not out 158, Sarul Kanwar 53, Shikhar Dawan 53; Bhargav Bhatt 4/104), Samad Fallah 4/113).

West Zone: 397 & 61 for three in 23 overs (Harshad Khadiwale 21; Vikas Mishra 2/05).