Duleep Trophy 2022-23: West Zone registers big win over South, social media exultant
The 2022-23 Duleep Trophy ended on Sunday. West Zone registered a massive 294-run win over South Zone, winning its record 19th title. As a result, social media was exultant by the same.
West Zone lashed South Zone by 294 runs, winning the 2022 Duleep Trophy at the SNR College Cricket Ground in Coimbatore on Sunday, as the side completed the formalities before lunch on Day 5. After being set a far-fetched target of 529 runs, South was bowled out for 234, with left-arm orthodox spinner Shams Mulani (4/51) picking up three of the four wickets on the final day. Resuming at 154/6 from Day 4, the South batters Ravi Teja and R Sai Kishore withstood the West bowling attack for closely a couple of hours. Most of the South's experienced batters fell to the pace duo of Atit Sheth and Jaydev Unadkat on Day 4 evening, leaving the side in shambles.
Teja (53) batted with determination and was supported well by spindly Sai Kishore, who kept the bowlers while facing 82 balls, scoring just seven. The duo added 57 runs in 157 balls, handling the West attack with vigilance. While Teja hit three fours and a six, Kishore was pleased in defending.
Medium-pacer Chintan Gaja gave the day's first breakthrough at 203, as Priyank Panchal caught Kishore. Karnataka off-spinner K Gowtham joined Teja and ensured that the West bowlers worked hard for success. The pair added 23 runs, threatening to extend the match beyond the lunch break.
Mulani trapped Teja leg-before after he had struck his half-century. Basil Thampi (0) followed him, caught by Sarfaraz Khan off the same man before Tanush Kotian had Gowtham (17), ending South's opposition. The West amassed 585/4 before declaring its second innings, conceding a 57-run first-innings lead.
Prolific run-scorer Sarfaraz recorded a fine unbeaten ton (127 off 178). In contrast, Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a monumental 265 in the second innings, setting up the game for Ajinkya Rahane and co. Kerala opener Rohan Kunnummal fought a lone battle, scoring 93, in South's second innings. Meanwhile, Rahane asked Jaiswal to leave the field after opposition batter Teja grumbled about sledging, leading to Jaiswal's several warnings.
"The way everyone contributed was magnificent. We were just looking to play one game at a time, not overthinking for the future. Excited about the season ahead, first full season after Covid, looking forward to playing for Mumbai," said winning skipper Rahane after the title success.
After experimenting with three teams for a few years, the Duleep Trophy returned to the zonal format this season. "I think zonal cricket is very important for those players who have been doing well for their states - Ranji Trophy, Irani Trophy, and Duleep Trophy are very important for picking out Test cricketers for India in the future," added Rahane.
Brief Scores: West Zone 270 & 585/4 declared (Jaiswal- 265, Iyer- 71, Sarfaraz- 127; Sai Kishore- 2/157, Gowtham- 2/235) defeated South Zone 327 & 234 (Kunnummal- 93; Teja- 53, Mulani- 4/51, Unadkat- 2/28, Sheth- 2/29) by 294 runs.
(With inputs from PTI)