Fine bowling performances by pacer V Koushik and left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore helped South Zone win Duleep Trophy 2023 title with a convincing 75-run victory over defending champions West Zone in the final at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, here on Sunday.
Needing 116 runs to win on day five, West Zone arrived with hopes of a famous victory. But they were bowled out for 222 in 84.2 overs in just under the first two hours of day five's play, with Koushik and Kishore taking four wickets each.
The victory also gives South Zone their first Duleep Trophy title since 2010-11, though they shared 2013-14 title with North Zone.
Resuming from 182 for five in 62.3 overs, Vidwath Kaverappa struck when he had West Zone captain Priyank Panchal nicking behind to wicketkeeper Ricky Bhui, falling for 95 on the first ball of the 65th over.
Vyshak Vijaykumar could have got Shams Mulani out if captain Hanuma Vihari hadn’t dropped his catch at first slip. But Mulani fell in the 73rd over after chipping straight to mid-off V Koushik.
Dharmendrasinh Jadeja made 15 before holing out to the deep off Kishore, followed by him taking out Chintan Gaja, who fell after top-edging a pull to long-off. Kishore finished off the final by taking out Atit Sheth to complete a convincing victory for South Zone.
Kaverappa won the Player of the Match award for his eight-wicket haul in the final.
Indian men’s domestic players will now gear up for the Deodhar Trophy to be held in Puducherry from July 24 to August 3. The prestigious tournament will be held in the zonal format for the first time since the 2014-15 season. Deodhar Trophy is making a return to domestic cricket season after a hiatus of four years.
Brief Scores: South Zone 213 & 230 beat West Zone 146 & 222 in 84.2 overs (Priyank Panchal 95, Sarfaraz Khan 48; V Koushik 4-26, Sai Kishore 4-57) by 75 runs.