KL Rahul scored his second ton of the match © PTI
KL Rahul scored his second ton of the match © PTI (File Photo)

Nov 1, 2014

(Follow live cricket score and live updates of the Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final between Central Zone and South Zone)

Our coverage of the fantastic final between Central Zone and South Zone comes to a close. Its a goodbye from us. Do stay tuned to our website for live updates on the 2nd Test between Pakistan and Australia, as well as the 1st ODI between India and Sri Lanka.

KL Rahul has been adjudged the Man-of-the-match for his knocks of 185 and 130 in the final, forming the backbone of both innings. He will however, be greatly disappointed with his dismissal, which triggered a middle and lower-order collapse. One cannot ignore Robin Bist’s efforts though, as he rallied with the lower-order in Central’s second innings to guide them to a score of 403, when they were down 260 for seven.

Central Zone win the Duleep Trophy for the first time in a decade, and what a way for them to regain the title. Very few would have predicted this outcome at the start of the day, when KL Rahul and Baba Aparajith were feasting on the Central bowlers, needing a little over 100 runs with nine wickets in hand. While the bowlers, especially the spinners, defenitely deserve their credit for turning things around with some spectacular display of disciplined bowling and for maintaining their nerve during a crunch time, one does feel for KL Rahul, who played out of his skin in both the innings, and had laid the foundation for a victory for his side in the fourth innings.
And Central register a fantastic win. Gopal dances down the track, misses the line competely, and gets his middle stump shattered. Remarkable turnaround by Central Zone to win the match from an unlikely point. Central win the Duleep trophy after 10 years. The Central players are all over the field at the moment, as the South Zone camp cannot believe what they just witnessed. If South were losing wickets quickly before lunch, they committed hara-kiri after. The shot-selection by some of the batsmen were absolutely atrocious, especially when they were required to be on a defensive mode.
OUT! Shreyas Gopal b Murtaza 12 (26)
One run scored from the 89th over by Piyush Chawla. Gopal and Sharath need to hold on to their nerves if they are to win this thriller of an encounter. The pressure is on both sides at the moment, with Central needing just one wicket with 10 runs left.
Central Zone are on the verge of a win, with just one wicket left while defending 12 more runs. Mithun goes for the sweep, missing the line completely and getting his stumps shattered in the process.
OUT! Abhimanyu Mithun b Murtaza 0 (6)
Piyush Chawla strikes again, this time trapping Pragyan Ojha, who looks to defend a delivery, but raps the pad while heading towards the leg stump. The match is definitely heading towards a thriller at the moment.
OUT! Pragyan Ojha lbw Chawla 2 (16)
Another one bites the dust! R Vinay Kumar has got to go. South Zone are digging a grave for themselves here. while Central Zone are giving it their everything. Just 15 runs required though.
OUT! R Vinay Kumar b Murtaza 24 (38)


South Zone have been dealt yet another blow as Jalaj Saxena picks another wicket, this time removing the dangerous Hanuman Vihari, who looks to play a ball that is pitched on the off-stump against the spin, but ends up patting the ball back to the bowler, who moves to his left in his follow-through and collects the catch. The Central Zone players are jubilant at the moment, and have a genuine chance of a victory in this match.
OUT! Hanuman Vihari c & b Saxena 1 (14)
South Zone are in a spot of bother at the moment, as the wickets are suddenly starting to tumble for them and Central Zone are firmly back into the game and look to tighten the noose around the opposition. Aparajith looks to come down the track to attack the first delivery, which is good of length, and play it towards the mid-wicket area. But the ball spins away from the batsman, and keeper Naman Ojha collects the ball and removes the bails in a jiffy. Things are going haywire, and the match has suddenly been thrown wide open. We are in for an interesting contest today ladies and gentlemen.
OUT! Baba Aparajith st Naman Ojha b Chawla 56 (138)
Jalaj Saxena joins the wicket-taking act by removing Ramaswamy Prasanna, who was trapped plumb in front of the middle-stump off a full-pitched delivery, an easy decision for the umpire. Hanuman Vihari next batsman to walk in.
OUT! Ramaswamy Prasanna lbw Saxena 29 (63)
Ramaswamy Prasanna seems to have woken up from his slumber, smashing spinner Ali Murtaza for 6,6 and 4 off the last three deliveries of the 66th over to take South Zone to 244 for three. Prasanna has moved into the 20’s in a flash in the process. The first six was a slog sweep which was pitched outside off, which Prasanna swept it with brute power over mid-wicket. The second six was equally majestic, with Prasanna running down the track this time to smash the ball over long-on. The four off the last ball was ashort of length pitched between the middle and leg stump, which Prasanna pulled towards the backward square leg boundary. South Zone reached the 250-run mark with ease at the end of the 69th over, needing 50 runs with seven wickets in hand
Baba Aparajith is the latest batsman to bring up a batting milestone, reaching his fifth FC half-century in 120 balls. The team’s hopes will now be pinned on him for a safe chase of the target. Prasanna, on the other end, is blocking most of the deliveries and intends to take his time, having scored a mere 9 runs from 36 balls.
The runs have dried up since the double-blow that was inflicted on South Zone by Pankaj Singh in the 51st over. 11 runs have been scored in the last 7 overs, at a rate that is less than two per over. The balance of the match has somewhat been evened between the two, and skipper Piyush Chawla will look to use Pankaj and Ishwar Pandey against the new batsman, Ramaswamy Prasanna. Baba Aparajith, in the meantime, is nearing his half-century.
And its a double blow for South Zone as Pankaj Singh removes Dinesh Karthik in the same over, bowling him a tossed up delivery outside off, which Dinesh Karthik was initially leaving, but brought his bat too close to the path of the delivery and got an inside edge onto his stumps.
OUT! Dinesh Karthik b Pankaj 0 (4)
The 200-run mark is breached at the end of the 49th over. Central Zone’s Pankaj Singh manages to get the big wicket by dismissing KL Rahul for 130.
OUT! KL Rahul lbw Pankaj 130 (152)
The first runs of the day come in the form of four byes in the 45th over, which is bowled by Pankaj Singh. KL Rahul gets down to business in the very next over by Ishwar Pandey, smashing fours in the first and last deliveries of the over to bring up the 100-run partnership. Rahul has now smashed 14 fours and five sixes, scoring a majority of his runs from those boundaries. The next two overs are maidens.

Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s coverage of the fifth day of the Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final between Central Zone and South Zone at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi. South Zone finished at a score of 184 for the loss of one wicket. South need another 140 runs to win with nine wickets and an entire day in their hands. KL Rahul scored a fluent 121 from 132 balls, and was unbeaten at the close of play along with Baba Aparajith, who was on 30 from 57 balls. For Central Zone, skipper Piyush Chawla was the only wicket-taker, dismissing Robin Uthappa to finish with figures of one for 51 from seven overs.

Resuming from a score of 62 for no loss at the start of the final session of the day, Rahul continued the carnage with the torrent of fours, bringing up his half-century in his 54th delivery. The partnership was looking strong, when Chawla struck for Central Zone, dismissing Uthappa on 30 as the latter tried to play a googly that was pitched well-outside off-stump, bamboozling Uthappa to make him send the ball back to the Chawla. The opening stand ended, four runs shy of the 100-run mark.

Baba Aparajith came to the crease, and was off to a rather slow start. The 20 year-old Chennai-born batsman took 12 balls to open his account, though he managed to hit a six and a four in his unbeaten 42-run innings. Rahul went on to bring up his sixth First-Class century off his 104th delivery, smashing a six over mid-wicket to reach the milestone. The second-wicket partnership was worth 88 runs at the time of close of play.

Central Zone were earlier dismissed for 403 runs after 105.5 overs, with Robin Bist remaining unbeaten on 112 from 174 balls. They resumed on the fourth day from their overnight score of 214 for the loss of four wickets, with Bist and Mahesh Rawat walking to the crease. Mahesh Rawat faced the first over of the day bowled by skipper R Vinay Kumar, sending the fourth delivery for a boundary towards the square leg boundary. The second over was a wicket-maiden bowled by Pragyan Ojha, who did the damage in the 66th over when he removes Mahesh Rawat for 16.

Pankaj Singh was the last batsman to walk in, and smashed the first ball that he faced for a six over long on. Pankaj was dismissed off the next ball however, as he attempted another big hit, but top-edged the ball towards cover, where Aparajith held on firmly. Gopal ended with figures of four for 60, the best among the Southern bowlers.

South Zone were off to a strong start in their chase of the 301-run target against Central Zone. While Uthappa was calm in his approach and took his time, scoring five runs off 25 deliveries, Rahul started attacking from the second over itself, in which he smashed three boundaries. Rahul scored five boundaries so far, and looks hungry for another big score to be added to his name. The 22 year-old batsman brought up a personal milestone when he completed 2,000 runs after scoring 32 runs from 28 balls, achieving the feat by dispatching the last ball of the ninth over bowled by Pankaj Singh for a mid-wicket four.

South Zone have certainly been the superior batting team in the final so far, and their fourth innings is a testament to that fact. It should be a cakewalk for the side to chase down the remainder of the target on the final day, if Rahul and Aparajith preserve their wicket. Central, on the other hand, will have to produce a terrific display of bowling and fielding if they are to swing things to their favour.


Central Zone: Jalaj Saxena, Faiz Fazal, Robin Bist, Naman Ojha (wk), Ashok Menaria, Mahesh Rawat, Arindam Ghosh, Piyush Chawla(C), Ali Murtaza, Ishwar Pandey, Pankaj Singh

South Zone: Robin Uthappa, Lokesh Rahul, Hanuma Vihari, Baba Aparajith, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Prasanna, Shreyas Gopal, Vinay Kumar (c), Abhimanyu Mithun, Pragyan Ojha, HS Sharath

Click here to read about the key players for this game

Click here to read why South Zone are the favourites for this game