Duleep Trophy is a zonal domestic first-class tournament played in India.
Generally, players who displayed impressive performances in the Ranji Trophy are called by various zonal team they played as a part of and thus they go on to represent the zone in the tournament. On Saturday, we are going to witness the 55th season final of the competition when Yuvraj Singh’s India Red will take on Gautam Gambhir’s India Blue. And as we look forward to the final, we bring you with another edition of Qweekly to check (or brush up) your knowledge of this specific event.
- Starting with a basic one, can you name the cricketer on whom the Duleep Trophy is named?
- Can you name the batsman who holds the current record of scoring most runs in an innings in this tournament who later succumbed to a head injury while playing domestic cricket in Bangladesh?
- The above Duleep match is also famous for yet another unique record as far as the batting side is concerned. Can you guess what is it?
- Duleep Trophy has mostly been comprised of different zonal teams (in geographical terms) from across the country. However for five straight seasons starting 2003-04, a foreign team has participated as the sixth team. Do you know which team can boast themselves of being the only visiting side to feature in the Duleep final?
- The Duleep Trophy final of the 2009-10 season went down in the history of first-class cricket for something very renowned. What was the specialty of the match?
- In 2000-01, Debasis Mohanty achieved something in the first innings for East Zone versus South Zone in a Duleep match which a few Indians like Anil Kumble, Subhash Gupte, Premangsu Chatterjee and Pradeep Sunderam can boast of. What is it?
- In a 2014 Duleep tie between East and South zones, the match aggregate is the joint-lowest in all Duleep features. Can you re-call the unique ignominy that the East Zone side suffered?
- In January 2001, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid did something incredible at Surat for South against the West which they would go on to repeat in two months’ time against the Aussie at the Eden Gardens. What was it?
- Inspite of being class players, Narendra Hirwani and Rangana Herath achieved two not so boastful records. Can you guess them?
- Apart from Day and Night encounter with a pink ball under the artificial lights, what is the other uniqueness of this year’s Duleep championship?
- Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji who played for the English cricket team during 1929-1931, featuring in some 12 Tests scoring 995 runs including 3 centuries. In addition, he had 50 first-class centuries to his name including a surreal 333 for Sussex against Northamptonshire which still stands as the highest first-class individual innings for the county club.
- Raman Lamba. Playing for the eventual winners North Zone in the final in the 1987-88 season, Lamba hit 320 in his 471-ball innings against the West Zone who used all their players with the cherry except the wicket-keeper in the 197 overs that they bowled. Lamba was the first to score a triple ton in the Duleep Trophy meet and only Gagan Khoda could boast of the feat till now. Later in 1998, while fielding at forward short leg, Lamba was hit on the head during the locally sought-after derby between Abahani and Mohammedan and never recovered.
- Of course, it was the highest run-aggregate in a Duleep game. North Zone’s 868 runs in their first innings tops the chart and no other team is yet to cross the 800-mark in the tournament till date. 868 also stands as the fourth highest ever in the context of Indian domestic cricket. Across the globe, the 868 mark has been crossed only four times since then.
- Sri Lanka A. Under the captaincy of Thilan Samaraweera, the Lankan side – consisting of Chamara Silva, Upul Chandana, Rangana Herath to name a few – defeated the West and South Zone in the round-robin to play the final against North Zone. However, they lost in the final.
- West Zone chased down successfully a fourth innings target of 536 – recorded to be the highest successful chase in a first-class match. Owing to an unbeaten 210 from Yusuf Pathan off just 190, West Zone finished 541/7 in just a little after lunch on day 5 in a match that has not only served as a high scoring but a quick scoring one as well. In another rare happening, both South Zone captain Dinesh Karthik and Yusuf Pathan scored centuries in both the innings.
- The bowler to pick all TEN wickets. In the innings, Mohanty went through a star-studded South Zone team having Dravid, Laxman, Srinath and Prasad in their ranks. His figure was 19-5-46-10. He also picked up four in the second to hold still a Duleep record of 14 wickets in a match.
- In reply to 264 by the South Zone, the East Zone perished at 84 in the first and following on, they could not go beyond 62 in the next. This is recorded to be the only completed match in a Duleep tie where a side fell under 100 twice in a single game.
- The highest partnership for any wicket in a Duleep match. The pair added 409 for the third wicket – Laxman scoring 217 and Dravid 188. They also crafted a game-changing 376 for the fifth wicket while following on against Australia in the epic Eden Test a few weeks later.
- Conceded 200 runs or more in an innings. The leading wicket-taker in Duleep meet, Hirwani went for 225 runs for one against North Zone in 1993. Herath leaked away 201 picking three against the same opponents in the final.
- No zonal teams. Three teams namely Red, Blue and Green preceded by “India” in the nomenclature play each other once in a round-robin fashion with the top two featuring in the final. The only other time the zonal formation was discarded was in the 2002-03 season when the teams were framed as per the Ranji Trophy groups with one team featuring a group. The format was shelved next season owing to identity crisis among the players.