(Last Updated on : 15/01/2009)
The Duleep Trophy, 1972-73 was played among five zonal teams that were selected by the BCCI from five different geographical locations of India. The teams were mainly selected according to the zonal system of Ranji Trophy and they were named as the Central Zone, East Zone, West Zone, North Zone and South Zone. All the five participating teams in the Duleep Trophy, 1972-73 had the same objective of becoming the champion in the tournament, though the West Zone and South Zone teams were considered as the top favourites. However, the reigning champion, Central Zone was also a strong contender for the championship title and the East Zone and North Zone gave their best efforts, as well.
The match between the teams of North Zone and East Zone was the first match of Duleep Trophy, 1972-73 and the match was held at Delhi from 10-12 November, 1972. The North Zone skipper, B Bedi won the toss and decided to bat first in the match. The decision was not a wise one, as the North Zone team got all out for a small total of only 165 runs in the first innings. None of the North Zone batsmen, apart from S Amarnath could play well in the first innings. S Amarnath became the top scorer for North Zone with 64 runs and he got some support from M Amarnath, who scored 38 runs. In reply to the small total of 165 runs made by North Zone, the East Zone batsmen played wonderfully in their first innings and got a good score of 228 runs. The East Zone skipper, A Roy scored a half century of 51 runs and helped his team getting a lead of 63 runs over North Zone in the first innings. The North Zone batsmen played much better in their second innings and got a good total of 233 runs, thanks to a century innings of 116 runs by V Lamba. Thus, the East Zone needed 171 runs in the second innings to win the match. However, by the time the East Zone reached the score of 138-2, the stipulated period of the match got over and the match ended on a draw. The East Zone was declared as the winner of the match for having a lead in the first innings and the team also entered into the Semi-Finals of Duleep Trophy, 1972-73.
The South Zone and West Zone teams played against each other in the first Semi-Final of Duleep Trophy, 1972-73 and the two teams played the match at Madras from 17-19 November, 1972. The South Zone skipper, S Venkataraghavan won the toss and took the decision of batting first in the match. The South Zone batsmen supported their captain's decision well and scored a good total of 239 runs in the first innings. G Viswanath became the top scorer for South Zone with 52 runs and P Salgaonkar took 5 wickets for 55 runs, on behalf of West Zone in South Zone's first innings. While replying to South Zone's 239 runs in the first innings, the West Zone batsmen played very well and got a good score of 322 runs in their first innings. The skipper, A Wadekar led his team from the front by scoring a magnificent hundred of 151 runs and he got good support from the opener, S Gavaskar, who scored 55 runs. The West Zone bowlers, P Salgaonkar and P Shivalkar bowled brilliantly and both took 5 wickets, each to restrict South Zone's second innings for only 97 runs. While Shivalkar took 5 wickets for only 23 runs, Salgaonkar's 5 wickets came for 56 runs. Thus, the West Zone team needed only 14 runs in the second innings to win the match and they achieved the target with ease, without losing even a single wicket. West Zone also entered into the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1972-73 by winning this match.
The second Semi-Final of Duleep Trophy, 1972-73 was played between the teams of East Zone and Central Zone and the match took place at Calcutta from 18-20 November, 1972. The match saw the captain of Central Zone, H Singh winning the toss and deciding to field first. Being put into bat first by the opponent skipper, the East Zone batsmen played quite well in their first innings and scored a good total of 259 runs. R Saxena scored the highest runs of 73 for East Zone and Robin Mukherjee also scored 61 runs for his team. The Central Zone batsmen played extremely well in their first innings, while replying to East Zone's first innings total and scored a huge total of 446 runs. Almost all the batsmen played well in the innings and S Benjamin became the top scorer with 99 runs. A Deshpande also played well and scored 76 runs to help his team get a lead of 1887 runs over East Zone in the first innings. The stipulated period of the match got over when the East Zone reached the score of 146-4 in its second innings and the match officials declared the Central Zone as the winner for having a lead in the first innings. The Central Zone also got into the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1972-73 and set up the mood to play against West Zone.
The West Zone and Central Zone teams appeared against each other in the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1972-73 and the two teams played the match at Bombay from 24-26 November, 1972. Winning the toss, the captain of Central Zone, H Singh decided to bat first in the match. The Central Zone batsmen played considerably well in the first innings and scored a good total of 246 runs. The famous West Zone bowler, P Salgaonkar bowled extremely well in the innings and took 7 wickets for 72 runs to help his team restricting Central Zone's first innings total to 246 runs. The West Zone batsmen showed their real class and talent while replying to Central Zone's first innings total and they scored a huge total of 530 runs in their first innings. The two famous batsmen like A Wadekar and D Sardesai scored two superb centuries of 171 and 155 runs, respectively in the first innings. The other batsmen like H Kanitkar and C Chauhan also scored their individual half centuries to help their team get a huge lead of 284 runs over Central Zone in the first innings. The Central Zone batsmen could not play well under the huge pressure of trailing 284 runs and got all out for a small score of only 112 runs in the second innings. Thus, the West Zone team won the match with a huge margin of an innings and 172 runs and clinched the championship title in Duleep Trophy, 1972-73.