West Zone closed with a memorable come-from-behind victory as they defeated the South Zone’s top and mid-tier after hitting an unlikely 529 win goal in the Duleep Trophy final here on Saturday. On the fourth and penultimate day with 156 for six on stumps, South Zone stared at a heavy defeat, trailing 375 runs. West Zone set a massive 585 for four in their second innings after conceding a 57-run lead to their opponents in the first innings.
Prolific run-scorer Sarfaraz Khan posted a fine, undefeated century (127 from 178 balls) to continue West’s attack after double centurion Yashavi Jaiswal was sacked overnight for 265 at the SNR College Cricket Ground .
At the end of the third day of play, West Zone was 376 for three and Jaiswal hit at 209 for 244 balls. Jaiswal started the day from where he left last night, adding seven more limits to the 23 he had reached by the end of the third day of play.
Jaiswal eventually fell to off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham, after suffering 330 deliveries in his monumental knockout and adding 164 runs with Sarfaraz for the fourth wicket.
However, there was no respite for the South bowlers as Sarfaraz carried out his task with perfect ease to extend his team’s overall lead and put them in commanding position.
In all, Sarfaraz found the fence 11 times and cleared it twice, while also stitching together a 103 run unbroken partnership with Het Patel (51 not out) to add to South Zone’s woes.
West skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s statement came after Sarfaraz completed his century on the debut of the Duleep Trophy. Patel, who played an excellent 98 in the first innings, scored his runs quickly, hitting only 61 balls while hitting seven fours and a six.
Over five sessions, West flattened their opponents, and the South Zone team didn’t quite recover. This was evident in their at bat in the second inning, as with the exception of Rohan Kunnummal (93 from 100 balls), all batters failed to meet the challenge.
Even as his colleagues left one after the other, Kunnummal was able to bat fluently for the points he scored with his team in an extremely difficult situation.
All of South Zone’s veteran batters failed and fell to the pace duo Atit Sheth and Jaydev Unadkat, who bowled very well and took two wickets each.
Kunnummal fought a solitary battle, but he too fell at the end of the day, bowled by left-spinner Shams Mulani, who finished the day with a score of 2/24 from seven overs.
Skippers like Skipper Hanuma Vihari, Mayank Agarwal, Baba Indrajith and Manish Pandey all failed to put up a fight.
Short scores: West Zone 270 and 585/4 declared in 128 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 265, Shreyas Iyer 71, Sarfaraz Khan 127; R Sai Kishore 2/157, K Gowtham 2/235).
South Zone 327 and 154/6 in 40 overs (Rohan Kunnummal 93; Jaydev Unadkat 2/26, Atit Sheth 2/29, Shams Mulani 2/24).
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