19th May: Pune Warriors v Delhi Daredevils, 10:30 GMT
Sunrisers v Kolkata Knight Riders, 14:30 GMT
16th-20th May: 1st Test, Lord's
19th May: 2nd ODI, Edinburgh
The kind of Ranji Trophy final we witnessed this year, it seemed impossible that another match in this very season could even come close in terms of sheer drama. However lightning did strike twice and the Duleep Trophy final managing to upstage the other five-day contests surprised every one. Probably it was the fact that the best players in the country had assembled on stage.
South Zone captain Dinesh Karthik won the toss and chose to bat at Hyderabad. They were in trouble early on, reduced to 76 for 3 at one stage, but Karthik chose this moment to make his finest yet and give a fitting reply to the selectors who dropped him for the series against South Africa. His 183 took South away from disaster but the next best score was 53 from Ganesh Satish which effected the total in one way as they finally stopped at 400. Irfan Pathan picked 5 wickets for West Zone.
West were in troubled waters early on as well, their first four wickets fell for just 70 runs on the board. Following his brother’s antics with the ball, Yusuf Pathan led with the bat as a rearguard 108 from him helped West salvage some pride in reaching 251, although no other batsman crossed even the 25-run mark. C Ganapathy marked out a superb season with another five wicket haul.
Dinesh Karthik then made use of the number of overs still left to be bowled in the match and ground his way to a second century in the game. At the same time, with India struggling to have six fit middle-order batsmen for the first Test of a crucial home series, this was a telling effort from the Tamil Nadu stumper, who crossed the 150 run mark for the second time in the match. South finished their second innings at 386 setting an improbable 536 runs as target for West to clinch the trophy.
Opener CR Pathak led the way with 130 runs at the top and was supported by Wasim Jaffer’s 66 but at the end of the fourth day, West had been reduced to 379 for 6 with Yusuf Pathan batting on 84 and their only hope of a miraculous victory. On day five then, it turned out to be a case of what Dinesh Karthik can do, I can do better for Yusuf as he slammed a belligerent double ton to help West chase down the world record target by 3 wickets. He struck 10 sixes alongwith 19 fours to score 210 runs off just 190 balls to round off an amazing First-Class season in Indian cricket.
© Cricket World 2010
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