Mumbai: Seasoned pace bowler Irfan Pathan and up and coming swashbuckling batsman Ishan Kishan played stellar roles in West and East Zone's comprehensive wins over North and Central Zone respectively in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 Inter Zonal tournament in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Pathan grabbed 3 for 10 in four overs as West stopped North, in spite of captain Gautam Gambhir's second fifty (60) in as many days, at 107 for 8, and then romped home by eight wickets in just 12.4 overs by making 108 for 2 at the Wankhede Stadium.
Captain Parthiv Patel led from the front with a 35-ball 56 with nine fours and also added 80 for the first wicket with Shreyas Iyer (30) in nine overs to pave the way for West's first win after the loss to Central on Sunday.
North, who had beaten South yesterday, were reduced to 39 for five after the burst from the 32-year-old Pathan whose victims included Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Yuvraj Singh. They recovered later but the total was not enough to trouble West.
In the second game of the day, Bihar-born Jharkhand wicket keeper batsman Kishan, who led India to the finals of the Junior World Cup in Bangladesh last year, lashed seven sixes and a four in his 36-ball 67 as East easily overtook Central's 151 for 7 by making 154 for 3 and won by seven wickets with 17 balls to spare.
Kishan, dropped on 10, took full toll of the Central attack by carting left arm spinners Sohraab Dhaliwal and Mahipal Lamlor for two sixes each but perished in trying to hit the latter for the third one in as many balls.
Experienced batsman Ishank Jaggi remained unbeaten on 51 in 37 balls with captain Manoj Tiwary (10) to see East home.
Central's innings was kept afloat by captain Naman Ojha's 51 and Harpreet Singh's 48.
All four teams on view today have won one game apiece and have four points each in their kitty while South, who had a break today, are without a point to their credit.
Scores: North Zone 107 for 8 (G Gambhir 60; I Pathan 3 for 10) lost to West Zone 108 for 2 in 12.4 overs (S Iyer 30, P Patel 56).
Central Zone 151 for 7 (N Ojha 51, Harpreet Singh 48; A Dinda 2 for 24, S Ghosh 2 for 38) lost to East Zone 154 for 3 in 17.1 overs (I Kishan 67, I Jaggi not out 51; M Lamlor 2 for 31).
Kishan, who was caught at backward point in trying to heave yet again to leg, later rued that he had chucked away his wicket and instead should have remained not out at the end.
"It's the first time I have scored a fifty in T20 and I am happy but still it would have been better had I remained not out. I threw away the wicket in a very bad manner," the youngster said after East's thumping victory.
"The plan was that as long as I keep playing and if we have wickets in hand then if there are runs needed in the end then we can get them. Also they bowled a few loose deliveries and I capitalised on those," he said.
Kishan has been getting tips from India's most successful captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and said it has helped him improve as a player.
"He has called and spoken to me which is definitely a plus for a youngster. He had told me the kind of mental space I need to keep while batting if I want to score big and that it's not as if I should attack from the very beginning, which is something that does happen at this age.
"And where ‘keeping was concerned I also have discussed with him the few problems that I was facing. And he told me about the best drills to counter those and these factors really help a youngster, to be able to get to learn from such a senior player," Kishan said.
"In Under 19 I was with Rahul Dravid and he talked to me about working on my footwork and I have done that. In this our coach Rajiv Kumar Raja also helped me in the state camp," he added.
Updated Date: Feb 13, 2017 21:14 PM