Coming into Saturday’s match against East with an even chance of reaching the final, North crashed out with a 65-run loss. If coming nowhere near the target of 306 hurt, what was more painful was they fell just five short of the 245 needed to avoid conceding a bonus point.
The result left East on five points and North's tally to three — minus one from four for conceding the bonus point. Central have no points after their loss against North. This means that whatever happens in Monday’s last Group A match between East and Central, North won’t top the group.
Nothing went North's way after they put East in. They had added an extra quick in Samiulla Beigh, at the expense of off-spinner Yogesh Nagar, hoping that Mithun Manhas would share the slow bowling load with Chetnya Nanda. But the skipper injured a finger which ruled him out as a bowler.
East scored mainly in boundaries. Wriddhiman Saha and Natraj Behera were rewarded for being adventurous and Ishank Jaggi anchored the show after them. Along with Saurabh Tiwary, Jaggi (110 n.o. off 98, 10x4, 2x6) added 111 in 92 balls to push the total over 300.
Early wickets meant North's task kept getting tougher and even though there was a partnership between Aakash Chopra and Uday Kaul, 245 was always their real target.
Chopra, Kohli fined
Match referee Hemant Wasu fined Chopra 20 per cent of his match fee for showing dissent after being given out while Virat Kohli was docked 50 per cent for exchanging words with Dhiraj Goswami.
Scoreboard: East: W. Saha lbw Y. Singh 84; N. Behera c Diwan b Nanda 41; I. Jaggi not out 110; M. Tiwary b Bhatia 1; S. Tiwary c Kaul b Malik 52; D. Sharma c Kaul b Sangwan 1; R. Mohanty hit wicket Bhatia 6; D. Goswami not out 1. Extras: (lb-3, nb-2, w-4) 9. Total: (6 wkts, 50 ovrs) 305. FoW: 1-98, 2-172, 3-173, 4-284, 5-287, 6-294. Bowling: Malik 10-049-1, Sangwan 10-0-69-1, Beigh 4-0-33-0, Nanda 10-0-49-1, Bhatia 9-0-60-2, Y. Singh 7-0-42-1.
North: A. Chopra lbw M. Tiwary 58; R. Diwan c Sharma v Goswami 2; V. Kohli c&b Goswami 7; R. Bhatia b Bose 2; U. Kaul c W. Saha b M. Tiwary 27; Y. Singh lbw Bose 31; M. Manhas c Sharma b Dinda 58; P. Sangwan c T. Saha b Goswami 25; C. Nanda c Behera b Goswami 13; S. Beigh b Dinda 9; V. Malik not out 1. Extras: (lb-2, nb-1, w-4) 7. Total: ( In 49.4 ovrs) 240. FoW: 1-15, 2-31, 3-40, 4-97, 5-103, 6-159, 7-210, 8-219, 9-238. Bowling: Bose 10-0-53-2, Dinda 10-0-43-2, Goswami 9.4-1-35-4, M. Tiwary 10-0-47-2, T. Saha 6-0-41-0, Mohanty 4-0-19-0.