Saturday, February 6, 2010

Another great Finale

Indians seem to have rediscovered their love for the longer version of the game. And why not? The national team became the top ranked Test team. To ensure continued command on this position, the board changed the schedule to play more tests. And to top this even the domestic matches are turning out to be more and more exciting. Barely 3 weeks after the fantastic Ranji final we have had another awesome finale to the Duleep Trophy
West Zone took on South Zone in Hyderabad in a game which was initially closed to the public to avoid the Telengana agitation. Both teams were depleted due to key players playing for the national squad and the Board President's XI. However both teams still had a fair share of fringe players in their ranks. South Zone batted first and score 400 thanks to Dinesh Karthik's 183 while Irfan Pathan took 5 wickets. West conceded a lead of almost 150 runs with only Yousuf Pathan scoring a hundred while the rest of the batting collapsed as Ganapathy picked 5 wickets. Karthik got another 150 in the second innings as South declared setting West a victory target of 536 runs. Chirag Pathak, Harshad Khadiwale & Wasim Jaffer gave West a good start. But South were still on top when the 5th wicket fell at 293. But Yousuf had other ideas. He went for the bowling in a manner only he can. He got good support from his brother Irfan, Pinal Shah and Romesh Powar as he hammered his way to an unbeaten double century and finishing the game with a six. Yousuf was dropped 5 times during the innings as he led West Zone to the highest successful fourth innings chase in first class cricket history. 
A great match to be remembered for twin centuries by Karthik & Yousuf and the highest run chase ever. It was a memorable game. But there are still points to ponder upon. It could have been better if the BCCI had not diluted its importance by selecting some key players for the Board President's XI squad. That team should have been picked entirely from the other 3 zones. This would have added to the star value of the match. If spectators were not to be allowed in the ground then shouldn't the game have been shifted elsewhere.

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