Rinku Singh’s fifty in vain as West Zone beats Central Zone by 279 runs to reach Duleep Trophy final

After Prithvi Shaw’s Player-of-the-Match hundred, Mulani’s five-wicket haul on the last day won the match for West Zone.

Published : Sep 18, 2022 17:20 IST , Coimbatore

Rinku Singh waged a lone battle with a fluent 65-run knock but Central Zone was bowled out for 221 runs in the 2nd innings.
Rinku Singh waged a lone battle with a fluent 65-run knock but Central Zone was bowled out for 221 runs in the 2nd innings. | Photo Credit: Periasamy M

Rinku Singh waged a lone battle with a fluent 65-run knock but Central Zone was bowled out for 221 runs in the 2nd innings. | Photo Credit: Periasamy M

Rinku Singh (65, 71b, 7x4, 2x6) was the only silver lining for Central Zone as West Zone romped home to a 279-run win on the fourth and final day of the Duleep Trophy semifinal at the SNR College Cricket Ground in Coimbatore on Sunday.  

Rinku’s cameo, which included seven fours and two sixes, was a masterclass in tackling spin. He went down the ground after charging to the pitch of the ball and played off the backfoot either side of square on the off-side to hammer Shams Mulani (five for 72) for four fours and two sixes.  

A brief spell of showers broke the momentum and soon after the covers came off, Mulani got his tormentor caught at short-leg. The end of the 88-run resistance by Rinku and Ashok Menaria (32*), concussion replacement for Venkatesh Iyer, brought Central Zone hurtling down as the last three fell for 12 with Mulani’s fifer heralding West Zone’s march into the final.  

Earlier in the morning, an air of certainty crept over the ground as Central Zone’s overnight batters took guard. Facing hopeless odds of needing 468 on the final day, Kumar Kartikeya (39) and Shubham Sharma (24) decided to go down all guns blazing. The duo added 64 runs in 91 balls with night-watchman Kartikeya punishing the fuller lengths of pacers Jaydev Unadkat and Chintan Gaja (three for 49) with his drives until he played down the wrong line and lost his off-stump to Atit Sheth.  

Shubham cut loose with two consecutive pull shots to the boundary off Gaja before a barrage of bouncers from both ends put a stranglehold on the run-scoring. He eventually edged behind to the wicketkeeper as Mulani got one to turn sharply away from the right-hander. After a salvo of short-pitched bowling, Gaja came back and aimed for the hard lengths. He moved the ball away to get Karan Sharma’s outside edge and nipped it in to trap Priyam Garg leg-before-wicket. Both fell in quick succession as Central Zone threatened to unravel inside the first session.  

READ: South Zone beats North Zone by 645 runs to reach Duleep Trophy final

Ranji Trophy final 2.0  

The match was touted as a virtual rematch of the Ranji Trophy 2021-22 final with West Zone and Central Zone fielding five finalists each from Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh, respectively. Safe to say, Mumbai settled the score.  

Prithvi Shaw’s flamboyance, on a pitch that favoured shot-making, trumped MP’s stoic top-order comprising Himanshu Mantri, Yash Dubey and Shubham Sharma and turned the match on its head.    

While Mumbai spinner Mulani (five for 72 & one for 30) almost levelled with Kartikeya (five for 66 & three for 105) with his second-innings fifer, what also hurt Central Zone, other than its insipid batting in the first innings, was West Zone’s tail. On top of taking nine wickets between them, Mulani and Kotian added 134 runs combined in the lower-order. Their 74-run stand in the first innings after the side was tottering at 152 for six a case in point.  

The final hurdle awaits West Zone in the form of South Zone, which is coming off a thumping 650-run win over North Zone in the second semifinal, at the same venue starting Wednesday.  

West Zone - 1st innings: 257.
Central Zone - 1st innings: 128.
West Zone - 2nd innings: 371.
Central Zone - 2nd innings: Himanshu Mantri c Gaja b Mulani 18, Yash Dubey c Shaw b Gaja 14, Kumar Kartikeya b Sheth 39, Shubham Sharma c Het b Mulani 24, Karan Sharma c Het b Gaja 14, Priyam Garg lbw b Gaja 6, Rinku Singh c Jaffer b Mulani 65, Ashok Menaria (not out) 32, Ankit Rajpoot c Rahane b Unadkat 2, Gaurav Yadav c Rahane b Mulani 0, Aniket Choudhary c Jaffer b Mulani 4; Extras (lb-1, w-2) 3; Total (in 57.1 overs) 221.
Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-33, 3-97, 4-101, 5-108, 6-121, 7-209, 8-212, 9-213.
West Zone bowling: Unadkat 13-2-44-1, Gaja 11-2-49-3, Kotian 9-1-35-0, Mulani 18.1-3-72-5, Sheth 6-0-20-1.
Result: West Zone beat Central Zone by 279 runs.
Player-of-the-Match: Prithvi Shaw.
Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment