Central Zone thus finished their league matches on a winning note, after having lost their three previous ties. On the other hand, it was third consecutive defeat for East, who had lost their matches against North and West Zone.
Luck did not favour Ganguly today and he could not shine with the bat or the ball. After he was out for 17, the deposed Team India skipper bowled three overs and conceded 28 runs, including 13 runs in the last over of the match which saw Central Zone successfully chasing a victory target of 227.
TP Singh, Central Zone's in-form batsman, was the star performer for Central today in the absence of their stars, skipper Mohammed Kaif, Piyush Chawla and Suresh Raina, as he scored 56 off 67 balls with nine hits to the fence, including three successive fours off Ganguly in the 15th over. He was associated in a 53-run third wicket partnership with Abbas Ali who scored 19 off 40 balls.
JP Yadav, the central skipper who failed with the bat, was one of the key bowlers to restrict East to 226, taking two for 29 in his nine over.
Central Zone overcame a shaky start, losing two wickets for only 37 when medium pacer Ranadeb Bose removed JP Yadav for six and SK Shukla for 15. However, TP Singh (56 off 67 balls) steadied the ship and put Central zone back on the track before being bowled by M Divakar.
After Abbas Ali (19) and RK Shukla (17) fell, Jyoti Yadav accelerated the rate of scoring with a fine run-a-ball knock of 32 with three fours before giving a catch to SS Singh off Divakar.
Devendra Bundela (19) and Praveen Kumar (10) too fell to Divakar as East clawed back into the game.
And when M Acharya was run, the match reached an interesting stage. Dishant Yagnik and Harvinder Singh were at the crease as the last pair. At this juncture, the two stole eight runs in five balls and required five off the last ball. Yagnik clouted a beautiful six towards long off and clinched the tie for his side.
Ganguly displayed sportsmen spirit before 10,000-odd crowd, congratulating Yagnik for his feat.