South Zone ran through West Zone on the final day to emerge as the Duleep Trophy champion at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday.
West, which needed 116 runs when play started, fell short by 75 runs. The unit did not put up a fight, losing its remaining five wickets in 22 overs.
West hopes hinged on captain Priyank Panchal, who resumed on his overnight score of 92. Panchal, however, departed to a poor shot in the third over of the day. The opener barely moved his feet and threw his bat at a delivery from Vidwath Kaverappa, offering a catch to wicketkeeper Ricky Bhui. All the good work done by Panchal on the fourth day came undone with this false stroke.
HIGHLIGHTS: South Zone vs West Zone Duleep Trophy final
Panchal explained that he expected the ball to reverse in, when in fact it went straight on. “I made a mistake - I completely misjudged it. I should have watched the ball closely for another three or four overs before playing that shot,” Panchal said.
Left-arm spinner Sai Kishore then removed Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Chintan Gaja and Atit Sheth to hasten the end. The three batters fell in search of big hits and quick runs.
Fast bowler Kaverappa, who took a seven-for in the first essay, was declared the ‘Man of the match’. Kaverappa, the standout performer with 15 wickets in two matches, also won the ‘Man of the series’ award.
In an outing frequently interrupted by heavy rain, play was made possible thanks to the good work done by groundspersons and the excellent SubAir drainage system.
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