The Southern Zone squad won the Duleep Trophy Final in an exciting game, winning zonal gold with a convincing victory over their opponents. The Southern Zone, led by Hanuma Vihari, demonstrated their prowess and commitment, eventually winning by a large margin of 75 runs.
Pacer Vidwath Kaverappa sends West Zone skipper Priyank Panchal back early to accelerate South’s Duleep Trophy title march; Vihari & Co win by 75 runs.
The championship match of the prestigious Duleep Trophy event attracted cricket fans as both sides demonstrated their abilities and fierce spirit on the pitch. The Southern Zone team, comprised of strong regional cricketers, proved their worth and left an unforgettable impact on the sport.
Sarfaraz Khan’s dismissal late on the fourth evening tipped the scales in South Zone’s favour, putting the onus almost entirely on Priyank Panchal as West Zone began the final day of the Duleep Trophy needing 116 to win with five wickets in hand. The West skipper had battled his way to 92 on day four after facing 205 deliveries, but he barely lasted six balls and contributed only three more runs on Sunday at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Vidwath Kaverappa drew him into a sloppy swing outside off, and all he managed was a feather through to Ricky Bhui behind the stumps. Even though West batted relatively deep at the time, it was game over. South pushed in mercilessly for the kill, ready to avenge last year’s final disaster to the same opponents despite taking the first innings lead.
Their discipline meant that release for the West batsmen was limited, and when Hanuma Vihari brought on left-arm skipper Sai Kishore somewhat belatedly, West perished in their search for big strokes, being bowled out for 222, handing South a handsome and deserved 75-run win and their 14th Duleep title. West only lasted 113 minutes on the last day, losing five wickets for 40 runs after starting the morning on 182 for five.
Brief scores: South Zone 213 & 230 bt West Zone 146 & 222 (P Panchal 95; V Koushik 4-36, S Kishore 4-57) by 75 runs
While Kaverappa and Vyshak Vijaykumar, heroes of the semi-final victory over North, continued to hold their own, Koushik justified his inclusion in the final over KV Sasikant. On Saturday, he dismissed the top order, and on Sunday, he dismissed Shams Mulani, whose batting credentials aren’t insignificant.
Cheteshwar Pujara failed to leave his imprint on a final for the first time, while Suryakumar Yadav was particularly disappointed, making 8 and 4. They were, however, given nothing to work with by South’s superb pace attack, which was supported by fantastic catching and intelligent captaincy from Vihari, who was always one step ahead of the game.
Cricket enthusiasts and fans alike laud the Southern Zone’s achievement in the Duleep Trophy Final, recognizing their dominance and superior performance throughout the tournament. As the players relish their well-deserved victory, they set their sights on future challenges, aiming to carry their success forward and make their mark in the world of cricket.