Half-centuries by senior pro Yuvraj Singh and the talented Unmukt Chand helped North Zone cruise to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Central Zone and enter the Deodhar Trophy final, in Guwahati, on Monday.
North will meet the winner of Tuesday’s second semi-final, between South and West Zone.
North Zone captain Gautam Gambhir opted to field, in the match first curtailed to 45-overs-a-side, and his bowlers responded well, bundling out Central for a paltry 190 in 41.5 overs.
Due to inclement weather, North's target was revised to 160 in 33 overs, and they achieved it with 19 balls to spare.
The highlight of North’s chase was a partnership of 129 runs between Yuvraj (77) and Unmukt (56).
While the youngster decided to drop anchor at one end, facing 85 balls and hitting five fours, his senior partner displayed good touch as he hit nine fours and three sixes, of which a couple were off Piyush Chawla's bowling -- over deep mid-wicket and straight over bowler's head.
The other six came off Suresh Raina's bowling.
The Test discard also hit four successive boundaries off Vidarbha's left-arm seamer Shrikant Wagh.
For North, skipper Gambhir (9) was dismissed by comeback man Praveen Kumar, the left-hander edging one to Mohammad Kaif in the slips.
Praveen was the lone Central bowler who impressed as he got the ball to swing both ways.
This was his comeback match after the Board of Control for Cricket in India overturned his suspension a couple of days back.
Central Zone: 190 in 41.5 overs (Ashok Menaria 34, Amit Mishra 3-50, Rajat Paliwal 2-14).
North Zone: 16022 (target 160 in 33 overs) (Yuvraj Singh 77 not out, Unmukt Chand 56 not out).
North Zone won by eight wickets.