South Zone successfully defeated North Zone by two wickets at Bangalore’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium and secured a spot in the tournament final against West Zone.
Led by captain Hanuma Vihari, South Zone achieved a challenging target of 215 runs in the fourth innings, ultimately triumphing over North Zone on Saturday, July 8.
However, the match ended on a contentious note. North Zone resorted to time-wasting tactics while bowling in an effort to secure a draw.
If the match had ended in a draw, North Zone, captained by Jayant Yadav, would have won based on their two-run lead in the first innings.
Controversy arises in the Duleep Trophy as North Zone attempts to deny South Zone’s victory
Proper heat from the crowd. Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant watch from the sidelines .
North Zone need 3 wickets, South Zone need 14 runs. If it’s a draw due to bad light or rain, NZ will go through on a 3-run 1st innings lead! https://t.co/7s7Pe9Y2bJ
— Kaushik R (@kaushik_cb) July 8, 2023
To prolong the game, one of North Zone’s bowlers took an astonishing four minutes and 43 seconds to bowl the last three balls of an over.
Despite the potential for the match to be called off due to rain and poor visibility, South Zone managed to hold on and secure the victory.
Been part of very few close 4 day games like this one !!
— Mayank Agarwal (@mayankcricket) July 8, 2023
Sai Kishore played a crucial role in South Zone’s win, remaining unbeaten on 15 runs off just 11 balls, including two sixes.
Kishore joined the crease when South Zone had lost six wickets and were struggling at 191 runs in 32.1 overs.
Despite losing the wickets of Washington Sundar and Vijaykumar Vyshak, Kishore exhibited composure during crucial moments.
Mayank Agarwal received the Player of the Match award for his exceptional performance.
He made a noteworthy contribution by scoring 76 runs off 115 deliveries in the initial innings and followed it up with a commendable innings of 54 runs in the second innings.
Captain Hanuma Vihari also made a significant contribution, scoring 43 runs off 42 balls, aiding South Zone in their successful run-chase.
South Zone’s victory sets up an enticing final clash against West Zone on Wednesday, July 12.
As the tournament progresses, the controversial tactics employed by North Zone in their attempt to manipulate the outcome of the match will likely be a topic of discussion among cricket enthusiasts.