West Zone annexes Duleep Trophy with big win over South

Written by Abhishek Patil

West Zone thrashed South Zone by 294 runs to win the 2022 Duleep Trophy here on Sunday, completing the formalities before lunch on the fifth and last day’s play.

Set an improbable target of 529 runs for an outright win, South Zone were bowled out for 234 in 71.2 overs, with left-arm Shams Mulani (4 for 51) picking up three of the four wickets to fall on the final day.

Resuming at 154 for six, South batters Ravi Teja and R Sai Kishore defied the West attack for nearly two hours. Most of the South Zone’s experienced batters failed and fell to the pace duo of Atit Sheth and Jaydev Unadkat on the fourth evening, leaving the team in a hopeless situation.

Teja (53) batted with resolve and was well supported by lanky Sai Kishore, who kept the bowlers at bay for 82 deliveries for his seven.

The duo added 57 runs in 157 deliveries, handling the West bowlers with circumspection. While Teja got three boundaries and hit a six, Kishore was content in defending and spending time in the middle.

Medium-pacer Chintan Gaja broke through with the score at 203 when he had Kishore caught by Priyank Panchal.

Karnataka off-spinner K Gowtham who joined Teja made sure the West bowlers were made to work hard for more success. They added 23 runs and threatened to extend the game past the lunch break.

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Abhishek Patil