Guwahati: Yusuf Pathan continued his fine run in limited overs format as his smashing half-century helped West Zone crush South by five wickets as they entered the final of the Deodhar Trophy. West will now take on North Zone in Wednesday's summit clash.
Put into bat, South made a decent 258 for five in their stipulated 50 overs riding on half-centuries from Stuart Binny (65) and Sachin Baby (58). In reply, West knocked off the runs in 41.1 overs courtesy Yusuf's 53-ball-68. The India discard hit eight boundaries and two mighty sixes -- one each of offie Baba Aparajith and left-arm spinner B Sudhakar.
This is his third consecutive 60-plus score having scored a century and a half century in the successive matches in Vijay Hazare one day meet. India U-19 star Vijay Zol also hit a matured 75 off 88 balls with the help of 11 boundaries and a six.
The only time that South looked like making a match of it was in the first seven overs when West were reduced to 26 for two with opener Parthiv Patel (14) and Manpreet Juneja (1) back in the hut. However a 71-run stand between Zol and Ambati Rayudu (31) helped West steady the ship.
Once Rayudu was dismissed by left-arm spinner Sudhakar edging an away spinning delivery to the glovesman, Pathan walked in. Initially, he didn't take any risks but once he got set, he just stuck into the bowling. He hit Aparajith over deep mid-wicket for maximum and Sudhakar's delivery was sent soaring over the sight-screen. The duo added 66 runs in a shade over 11 overs after which Zol was dismissed by R Vinay Kumar.
Kedar Jadhav (56 no) then sent the South bowlers on a leather-hunt smashing eight fours in 44 balls to finish off the contest.
Brief Scores: South Zone 258 for 5 (Stuart Binny 65, Sachin Baby 58, Munaf Patel 2 for 48, Abhishek Nayar 2 for 49). West Zone 259 for 5 in 41.1 overs (Vijay Zol 75, Yusuf Pathan 68, Kedar Jadhav 56 no).