Mahipal Lomror, Akshdeep Nath and Eklavya Dwivedi may have been released by their respective IPL franchises but they all scored fifties and ensured that they will be in the reckoning for another contract during IPL Auction 2017.
Fifties from Mahipal Lomror and Dishant Yagnik helped Team Rajasthan register a 21-run win over Railways and end their campaign with a win. After winning the toss and electing to bat, Indian U-19 star Lomror, who was released by Delhi Daredevils, smashed a 43-ball 69 and helped them post 184/9.
Coming in at No.3 in just the second ball of the innings, the 17-year-old took complete control of the proceedings as he smashed his career-best T20 score and along with Yagnik, who scored 60, helped them post 184/9 in their 20 overs.
In response, Railways never really got going despite a fifty from opener Kawaskar and an unbeaten 42 from captain Karn Sharma. In the end, they ended up 21 runs short of the target and ended their Zonal T20 campaign with just one win from five matches.
An all-round performance from Akshdeep Nath wasn’t enough as Uttar Pradesh lost to Vidarbha, who still kept their faint mathematical hopes of winning the Central Zone title alive. After winning the toss and electing to bat, Uttar Pradesh posted 169/4 in their 20 overs but still lost by four wickets.
Eklavya Dwivedi and Akshdeep Nath may have both been released by Gujarat Lions but both scored crucial fifties and helped Uttar Pradesh make the most of their decision to bat first. But it was to no avail as they still ended up losing the game as Vidarbha got home with 11 balls to spare.
On the back of thirties from Ambati Rayudu and Ganesh Satish, Vidarbha still kept their faint hopes of the central zone title alive. Although they are currently in third place, a big win over leaders Madhya Pradesh would hand them the title.
Bengal were crowned East Zone champions after Shreevats Goswami’s 81 helped them chase down Jharkhand's target of 178 with five balls to spare and end their Inter-Zonal T20 campaign with four wins from four matches.
On the back of forties from captain Saurabh Tiwary and Virat Singh, Jharkhand posted 177/5 in their 20 overs with Ashok Dinda being the pick of the bowlers for Bengal with 2/28. The bowlers couldn’t back up the good work though as Jharkhand their campaign at the bottom of the group, with no wins.
Although Bengal lost in-form Wriddhiman Saha early, Goswami made sure that wasn't felt as he top-scored with a 53-ball and he was ably supported by AK Raman and Pramod Chandila, who both scored 37 and helped Bengal win by five wickets with five balls to spare.
In the other East Zone clash, Assam’s six-wicket win over Odisha helped them finish second in the zone with three wins out of four. Despite losing the toss, Assam did well to restrict Odisha to 143/7 and the modest total was achieved with nine balls to spare courtesy of PK Das’ fifty and an all-round display from Amit Verma, who took three wickets and also scored 31.
Here is a round-up of what happened on the eighth day of the Inter-Zonal T20 tournament.
Railways 163/5 in 20 overs (Saurabh Kawaskar 55, Karn Sharma 42*, D Chahar 2/31) lost to Team Rajasthan 184/9 in 20 overs (Mahipal Lomror 69, D Yagnik 60, MR Chaudhary 3/16, Amit Mishra 3/30) by 21 runs.
Uttar Pradesh 169/4 (Eklavya Dwivedi 61, Akshdeep Nath 56, SB Wagh 2/17) lost to Vidarbha 171/6 in 18.1 overs (Ambati Rayudu 37, Ganesh Satish 33, Akshdeep Nath 2/16) by four wickets.
Bengal 178/5 in 19.1 overs (Shreevats Goswami 81, Varun Aaron 2/41) beat Jharkhand 177/5 in 20 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 44, Virat Singh 42, Ashok Dinda 2/28) by 5 wickets.
Assam 148/4 in 18.3 overs (PK Das 51, Amit Verma 31, Basant Mohanty 2/17) beat Gujarat 143/7 in 20 overs (Biplab Samantray 50, Amit Verma 3/19) by 6 wickets.