In the Duleep Trophy, 1979-80, all the five regular participating zonal teams played. The teams included the likes of East Zone, West Zone, North Zone, South Zone and Central Zone. The BCCI, organiser of the premium domestic cricket tournament in India, selected the teams on the basis of their respective geographical locations. The BCCI followed the zonal format of Ranji Trophy, while selecting the teams.
The East Zone and South Zone teams played against each other in the first match of Duleep Trophy, 1979-80 and the match was held at Calcutta from 07-10 December, 1979. The toss of the match was won by the captain of South Zone, S Venkataraghavan and he took the perfect decision of batting first in the match. The decision was a perfect one, as the South Zone batsmen responded to their captain's decision very well and scored a huge total of 539-7 in the first innings. The two famous batsmen of South Zone, B Patel and T Srinivasan played two superb century knocks of 163 runs and 149 runs, respectively for their team. V Sivaramakrishnan and J Ghiya also played two good innings of 78 runs and 54 runs, respectively to help their team getting the huge total. After Venkataraghavan declared the South Zone first innings on 539-7, the East Zone batsmen also showed their talent and scored a huge total of 435 runs in their first innings. However, they failed to surpass the first innings total of South Zone, before getting all out. When the South Zone team reached the score of 122-2 in the second innings, the specified period of the match got over and the match ended in a draw. The match officials declared the South Zone team as the winner of the match for having a lead in the first innings. The South Zone team also entered into the Semi-Finals of Duleep Trophy, 1979-80.
The teams of Central Zone and North Zone appeared against each other in the first Semi-Final of Duleep Trophy 1979-80 and the match took place at Indore from 21-24 December, 1979. After winning the toss, the captain of Central Zone, P Sharma decided to bat first in the match. The Central Zone batsmen faced a lot of troubles while batting in their first innings and became able to score only 197 runs, before getting all out. A Deshpande became the top scorer for Central Zone in the innings by remaining not out on a score of 70 runs. A Valson and Umesh Kumar took 4 wickets, each for North Zone to help their team restricting Central Zone's first innings to such a low total. The North Zone batsmen made good use of the advantageous position the team was, and they scored a huge total of 395 runs in their first innings, before getting all out. D Chopra (87), S Amarnath (75), R Shukla (65) and S Khanna (62) contributed the most to North Zone's first innings total. Trailing by 198 runs in the first innings, the Central Zone batsmen a bit better in their second innings and scored 287 runs by losing all the wickets. V Chauhan (67), A Bhanot (61) and P Sharma (58) played well for Central Zone; however, the team could set a target of only 90 runs to win for North Zone. The North Zone team easily achieved the target and scored 90 runs without losing even a single wicket. Thus, The North Zone team entered into the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1979-80, by winning the match with a huge margin of 10 wickets.
The second Semi-Final of Duleep Trophy, 1979-80 was played between the teams of South Zone and West Zone and the two teams played the match at Bangalore from 21-23 December, 1979. The South Zone team batted first in the match as its captain, S Venkataraghavan decided so after winning the toss. The South Zone batsmen miserably failed to apply themselves on the crease in their first innings and they got all out for a small score of only 147 runs. D Parsana and A Zarapkar caused most of the damage to South Zone batting line-up, as they took 4 wickets, each for West Zone. The West Zone batsmen batted with a lot of confidence in their first innings, as their bowlers put the team on an advantageous position. They scored a good total of 297 runs in the first innings, before getting all out and the West Zone took a lead of 150 runs over South Zone. The South Zone batsmen once again failed to play well in the second innings and this time, they got all out for even a lower score of only 135 runs. As a result, the West Zone team comfortably won the match with a huge margin of an innings and 15runs and also reached the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1979-80.
The West Zone and North Zone teams played against each other in the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1979-80 and it was the fourth consecutive time that the two teams appeared in the Final of the tournament. The two teams played the Final match at Bombay from 20-23 January, 1980, where the North Zone captain, S Amarnath decided to bat first after winning the toss. However, his decision was looking to be a wrong one, as the North Zone batsmen got all out for a tiny score of 165 runs in their first innings. The West Zone batsmen played well enough to get past the first innings total of North Zone and they scored a good total of 271 runs in their first innings, before getting all out. Trailing by 106 runs in the first innings, the North Zone batsmen showed a much better batting display in the second innings and scored a huge total of 345-7, before the captain declared the innings. Thus, the West Zone team required 240 runs in the second innings to win the match, which they could not achieve due to some brilliant bowling by North Zone bowlers. Madan Lal, S Valson and M Amarnath took all the West Zone wickets and demolished the West Zone second innings for only 135 runs. Thus, the North Zone team won the match with a margin of 104 runs and also clinched the championship title in Duleep Trophy, 19798-0, for the second consecutive time.