(Last Updated on : 15/01/2009)
In the Duleep Trophy, 1969-70, one of the premium domestic cricket tournaments in India, all the five zonal teams played against each other with a common objective of winning the championship title. The teams were mainly selected by the BCCI from five different geographical locations of the country and they were named as the East Zone, West Zone, North Zone, South Zone and Central Zone. All the teams gave their best efforts in fulfilling their aim of winning the tournament; however, the West Zone was definitely the top favourite.
The Central Zone and East Zone played against each other in the first match of Duleep Trophy, 1969-70 and the match was held at Nagpur from 05-07 September, 1969. The captain of Central Zone, H Singh won the toss and decided to bat first in the match. While batting first, the Central Zone team failed to give a good performance and scored a moderate total of 214 runs for 7 wickets, in the first innings. The captain, H Singh scored the highest runs for his team and played a good knock of 58 runs, before getting run out. However, there was no further play possible in the match, due to some unavoidable reasons and the match officials declared the Central Zone team as the winner of the match, on toss of the coin. The Central Zone team also entered into the Semi-Finals of Duleep Trophy, 1969-70 by winning this match.
The Central Zone team played against the West Zone team in the first Semi-Final of Duleep Trophy, 1969-70 and the match took place at Nagpur from 12-14 September, 1969. Winning the toss, the Central Zone skipper, H Singh took the decision of fielding first in the match. While batting first in the match, the West Zone batsmen faced some difficulties and eventually scored a moderate total of 221 runs, before getting all out. Most of the West Zone batsmen failed to show a good performance in the first innings and S Gaekwad and A Mankad became the top scorers for West Zone. The Central Zone batsmen also faced a lot of troubles while replying to West Zone's first innings total of 221 runs and they could score only 129 runs in their first innings. The West Zone pace bowler, A Pai bowled brilliantly for his team and took 7 wickets for only 42 runs and played an important role in restricting Central Zone's first innings on such a low score. The captain of West Zone, C Borde made a good move in the second innings and declared the innings after reaching the score of 185-2. Thus, West Zone set up a target of 278 runs to win for Central Zone. Though the move was intended to get a clear result in the match, it did not succeed, as the specified period of the match concluded when Central Zone reached the score of 117-4. As a result, the match officials declared the West Zone team as the winner of the match for having a lead in the first innings. The West Zone team also got the allowance to play in the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1969-70.
The teams of South Zone and North Zone were involved in the second Semi-Final of Duleep Trophy, 1969-70 and the two teams played the match at Madras from 13-15 September, 1969. The match saw the South Zone skipper, M Jaisimha winning the toss and deciding to field first. The decision was proved to be a brilliant one, as the South Zone bowlers did a great job by getting all the North Zone batsmen for a mere total of only 100 runs. The famous spinner, B Chandrasekhar took the main initiative in demolishing the North Zone batting line-up, as he took 5 wickets for only 36 runs. However, the North Zone team made a great come back in the match, as the bowlers got all the South Zone batsmen out for a small total of only 111 runs in the first innings. B Bedi took 7 wickets for only 19 runs to lead the North Zone bowlers in destroying the South Zone batting line-up. Trailing by only 1 run, the North Zone batsmen showed a better performance in the second innings and scored 255 runs for 9 wickets, before declaring the innings. A Gandotta became the top scorer for South Zone with 73 runs and helped his team in setting up a target of 255 runs to win for South Zone. The miserable performance of the South Zone batsmen continued in the second innings also and while chasing the target of 255 runs, they could eventually score only 146 runs. Thus, the North Zone team won the match by a margin of 98 runs and entered into the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1969-70 to play against West Zone.
The Final of Duleep Trophy, 1969-70 was played between the teams of West Zone and North Zone and the match was held at Ahmedabad from 24-26 October, 1969. It was the first Final match for North Zone in the Duleep Trophy and the West Zone skipper, C Borde decided to bat first in the match, after winning the toss. Borde's decision was nicely supported by his batsmen, as they played brilliantly to get a huge total of 412 runs on the scoreboard in the first innings. R Surti played a magnificent century innings of 127 runs and D Sardesai also scored 79 runs to help their team in getting the huge total in the first innings. The North Zone batsmen faced a lot of troubles while batting in their first innings and got all out for a small score of only 176 runs. A Mankad took 5 wickets for 21 runs on behalf of West Zone to play an important role in restricting North Zone's first innings to such a low score. The North Zone team was asked by West Zone captain, C Borde to follow on in the second innings, as it was trailing by a huge margin of 236 runs. However, the North Zone batsmen failed to show good performance in the second innings also and got all out to a tiny score of only 156 runs. Thus, the West Zone team comfortably won the match with a huge margin of an innings and 81 runs and clinched the championship title in Duleep Trophy, 1969-70. It was the sixth time that the West Zone team became the champion in Duleep Trophy.