Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) [India], September 25 (ANI): Yashasvi Jaiswal’s incredible double hundred and fiery spells from Jaydev Unadkat and Shams Mulani helped Ajinkya Rahane-led West Zone clinch their record-breaking 19th Duleep Trophy title as they defeated South Zone in the final by 294 runs in Coimbatore on Sunday.
With this win, West Zone has become the most successful team in this tournament’s history with 19 titles with North Zone following them with 18 titles.
Electing to bat first, West Zone put up 270 runs on the board. In reply, South Zone scored 327/10, giving themselves a lead of 57 runs. Tables turned in West’s favour as Yashasvi Jaiswal (265) helped them reach 585/4 declared in the third innings. It helped them gain a 528-run lead. Chasing 529, South was bundled out for just 234. They lost the game by a massive 294 runs.
Chasing 529, South Zone did not have a good start as they lost four wickets before they could even hit 100 runs. Atith Sheth and Unadkat took two each, sending back Mayank Agarwal (14), skipper Hanuma Vihari (1), Manish Pandey (14) and Ricky Bhui (13). South was in a troublesome situation at 91/4.
Then, Rohan Kunnummal and Ricky Bhui kept the scoreboard ticking and helped the side cross 100-runs. Mulani put brakes on this partnership at 39 runs, sending back Bhui for 14. At this point, West was 139/5. The well-set Kunnummal departed for a brilliant 93 to Mulani, at 6/146.
Ravi Teja and Sai Kishore then took the chase further, helping their side cross the 200-run mark and completing a 50-run stand. Their 57-run stand was ended by Chintan Gaja, who sent back Sai for seven. At this point, South was 7/203.
Mulani brought up his half-century but Mulani continued his roll, trapping him for 53. South was now at 226/8. From that point, the rest of the batters crumbled and Tanush Kotian took the winning wicket of Krishnappa Gowtham for 17.
South was all out for 234 runs and lost the match by 294 runs. Mulani’s 4/51 proved to be instrumental in his team’s win. Sheth and Unadkat got two wickets each. Gaja and Kotian got one scalp each.
In their second innings, West Zone put up the score of 585/4 declared. Jaiswal hit 265 off 323 balls with 30 fours and four sixes. Sarfaraz Khan (127*), Het Patel (51) and Priyank Panchal (40) also scored solid knocks.
Krishnappa Gowtham did get two wickets but leaked runs, going for 235 runs in 50 overs. Sai Kishore also took 2/157. This gave West Zone a 529-run lead over South, who had scored 327 in their first innings.
In their first innings, South Zone was bundled out for 327/10. Indrajith led the batting from the front with a brilliant 118 off 125 balls with 14 fours. Manish Pandey (48), Krishnappa Gowtham (43) and Rohan Kunnummal (31) posted useful contributions too.
But it was Unadkat who did his job the best, taking 4/52 and not allowing South to settle with a massive lead. Sheth also took 3/51 and Gaja and Kotian took two and one scalps each. With this, South had a mere 57-run lead in the match.
Electing to bat first, West Zone posted 270 runs on the board before they were bundled out. Het Patel (98) fell short of a century but steered his team’s ship to a solid score. Jaydev Unadkat (47*), Shreyas Iyer (37) and Sarfaraz (34) posted useful scores on the board.
Sai Kishore’s spin shone as he took 5/86. Basil Thampi and Cheepurapalli Stephen took two wickets. Gowtham took one scalp too.
Jaiswal earned the ‘Man of the Match’ title for his heroic double ton. (ANI)
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