West brush aside Lions to seal final spot
West Zone 494 (Rahane 172, Jaffer 151, Parthiv 59) and 28 for 1 beat England Lions 355 (Yardy 169) and 165 (Joyce 66, Pathan 5-35) by nine wickets
The England Lions faced a tough task going into day four of their clash with West Zone but were still considered favourites to reach the Duleep Trophy final; instead, a complete mess-up with the bat allowed West Zone to comprehensively notch up a win that took them to the showpiece match in Mumbai.
Having conceded a 139-run first-innings lead the Lions were bowled out for 165 - four less than their captain Michael Yardy's fine century in the first innings - and West duly knocked off the minimal target set for them.
Resuming the day on 14 for 1 the Lions looked poised to force a draw and make it to the final but Yusuf Pathan and Siddharth Trivedi had other ideas. Pathan started the slide by trapping opener Michael Carberry leg before for 17 in the 23rd over and added top-scorer Ed Joyce (66 from 136 balls) and James Foster. Trivedi, a right-arm medium-pacer, removed Joe Denly, Liam Plunkett and Graham Onions in relative succession and young Adil Rashid's resistance was cut short on 39 as Pathan bagged his fifth wicket.
Set just 27 to complete a somewhat improbable victory West lost first-innings centurion Ajinkya Rahane for 6 but set up a date with North Zone in the five-day final at the Wankhede Stadium, starting on February 19.