Powar takes seven as West lift title
A seven-wicket haul by Ramesh Powar helped West Zone lift the Duleep Trophy with a massive 274-run win in Chennai
Wasim Jaffer collected another trophy as captain after having led Mumbai in their victorious Ranji Trophy campaign
© K Sivaraman|
A seven-wicket haul by Ramesh Powar helped West Zone lift the Duleep Trophy with a massive 274-run win in Chennai. Chasing an improbable 678 for victory, South Zone put up a more spirited batting effort in the second innings, but finally folded for 403.
South were always up against it when they resumed at 232 for 3, needing another 446 to win. On a crumbling pitch, their biggest challenge was facing the spin duo of Powar and Rajesh Pawar and not surprisingly, the pair bowled 64% of the overs. West already had a firm grip on the trophy by virtue of their first-innings lead; it was only a matter of whether South would hang on for a draw.
West took three wickets in the opening session and importantly, claimed all the specialist batsmen. They set very defensive fields for the attacking pair of S Badrinath and Dinesh Karthik, trying to force them to make mistakes. However, that didn't stop the pair from attacking the spinners. Badrinath, the captain, followed up his first-innings century with a fifty but perished giving Rajesh Pawar the charge, holing out to Ramesh Powar at long-on.
West then attacked the new batsman, Arjun Yadav, and he didn't last very long. Powar kept plugging away outside the offstump and his patience finally paid off when Yadav lobbed a catch to Pawar at mid-off. Karthik, meanwhile, reached his fifty with a cracking drive through extra cover and looked set for a century before a freakish dismissal cut short his knock at 75.
He shouldered arms to Powar but while watching the ball through to the keeper, dragged his right leg back and trod on the stumps. R Ashwin and M Suresh took the attack to the seamers and resisted with a half-century stand. They didn't last too long in the afternoon session as Suresh lost his off stump while trying to cut Powar.
Shadab Jakati added 22 with Ashwin before he was trapped lbw by a Powar delivery which straightened. Sreesanth, in the meantime, was seen rehearsing imaginary slogs and swishes in the dressing room but it was hardly an indication of what was to come as he lasted just five balls, slogging Powar to Ajinkya Rahane at square leg . Ashwin remained unbeaten on 46 with eight boundaries and Powar finished with 7 for 140.
Wasim Jaffer, West's captain, rounded off a glorious season, having lifted the Ranji Trophy as well for Mumbai. This is West's 17th Duleep Trophy title.