(Last Updated on : 17/12/2010)
The Duleep Trophy, 1990-91 is best remembered to be one of the most competitive tournament. All the five regular zonal teams that had played in the previous editions of the tournament were present in Duleep Trophy, 1990-91 also. The teams were selected by the organisers of the tournament, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), mainly from five different geographical locations of the country. After selecting the teams according to the zonal format of the Ranji Trophy, the BCCI named the teams as the North Zone, South Zone, East Zone, West Zone and Central Zone.
The East Zone and West Zone teams played against each other in the first match of Duleep Trophy, 1990-91 and the match was held at Guwahati from 11-15 January, 1991. The captain of West Zone, R Shastri won the toss and decided to bat first in the match. The West Zone batsmen showed some wonderful batting performances in their first innings and scored a huge total of 604 runs, before getting all out. The two famous West Zone batsmen, S Tendulkar and S Manjrekar scored two brilliant centuries for their team. While Tendulkar played an extraordinary innings of 159 runs, Manjrekar scored 122 runs for helping his team in getting the mammoth total. Avinash Kumar and Saurav Ganguly picked up 5 and 4 wickets, respectively on behalf of East Zone in West Zone's first innings. In reply to the huge total of 604 runs by West Zone, the East Zone batsmen also played well and scored a good total of 317 runs, before getting all out. The then young and talented batsman, Saurav Ganguly made a magnificent century of 124 runs for East Zone and helped his team get the total on the scoreboard. Playing with a huge lead of 287 runs in the first innings, the West Zone captain, R Shastri declared the second innings on a score of 231-6. Avinash Kumar bowled well in this innings also and took 5 wickets for 94 runs, on behalf of East Zone. While chasing a huge target of 519 runs to win, the East Zone batsmen played well in their second innings. However, when they reached the score of 136-4, the stipulated duration of the match got over. The West Zone team was adjudged as the winner of the drawn match for having a lead in the first innings and the team also entered into the Semi-Finals of Duleep Trophy, 1990-91.
The teams of Central Zone and North Zone were involved in the first Semi-Final of Duleep Trophy, 190-91 and the two teams played the match at Patna from 18-21 January, 1991. The Central Zone team batted first in the match, as its captain, G Sharma decided so by winning the toss. The batsmen of Central Zone responded to their captain's decision quite well, as they scored a moderate total of 277 runs in their first innings. Yusuf Ali Khan became the top scorer for Central Zone by scoring 72 runs and he got good accompany from R Sapru, who scored 55 runs. The North Zone batsmen played extraordinarily, while replying to the first innings total of Central Zone and they scored a huge total of 452 runs in their first innings. K Azad made a wonderful century of 141 runs for North Zone and the other batsmen like Kapil Dev (69), M Prabhakar (66) and A Jadeja (61) also got good scores. P Vaidya took 6 wickets for 128 runs, for Central Zone in North Zone's first innings. Trailing by a huge margin of 175 runs in the first innings, the Central Zone batsmen failed to apply themselves properly on the crease and got all out for only 206 runs in their second innings. Only, P Amre showed some resistance for Central Zone in the second innings, as he scored a good century of 103 runs. Maninder Singh took 5 wickets for 85 runs, for North Zone in Central Zone's second innings. Thus, the North Zone team required only 32 runs in the second innings to win the match and the team easily reached the target, without losing even a single wicket. North Zone also entered into the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1990-91, by winning this match.
The second Semi-Final of Duleep Trophy, 1990-91 saw the teams of South Zone and West Zone playing against each other at Rourkela from 18-22 January, 1991. The toss of the match was won by the West Zone skipper, R Shastri and he decided to field first in the match, thus inviting South Zone to bat first. However, the decision seemed to be a wrong one, as the South Zone batsmen scored a huge total of 515 runs in their first innings. W Raman scored a brilliant century of 150 runs and S Kirmani scored 110 runs for helping South Zone get the huge total on the scoreboard. Though the South Zone team scored such a huge total in the first innings, the West Zone batsmen proved that they were better than their counterparts. They showed some extraordinary batting displays in their first innings and scored one of the highest team totals in the history of Duleep Trophy. They scored 747 runs in their first innings, before getting all out, where L Rajput made most of the contributions by scoring 192 runs. S Tendulkar also played wonderfully and scored a brilliant century of 131 runs, besides V Kambli and D Vengsarkar scoring 96 and 94 runs, respectively. The South Zone batsmen continued their good form of the first innings in the second innings also and put on a good total of 409 runs for 5 wickets. R Singh remained not out for South Zone after scoring 123 runs. However, as the match's stipulated duration got over by the time South Zone reached the score of 409-5, the match eventually ended in a draw. The match officials declared the West Zone team as the winner of the match for having a lead in the first innings and they also allowed the team to play in the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1990-91.
The Final of Duleep Trophy, 1990-91 was played between the teams of West Zone and North Zone and the match took place at Jamshedpur from 25-29 January, 1991. Winning the toss, the North Zone skipper, Kapil Dev took the decision of batting first in the match and got wonderful support from his batsmen. The West Zone team scored one of the highest team totals in the history of Duleep Trophy, in the first innings and secured a gargantuan total of 729 runs. The North Zone opener, R Lamba played an extraordinary innings of 180 runs and M Prabhakar scored 143 runs for his team, in the first innings. The skipper, Kapil Dev also played a century knock of 119 runs, while K Bhaskar Pillai scored 96 runs. Though, the West Zone batsmen also played wonderfully in their first innings and scored a mammoth total of 561 runs, it was not enough to surpass the first innings total of North Zone. Three of the West Zone batsmen, the skipper, R Shastri (152), D Vengsarkar (114) and S Manjrekar (105) scored centuries for their team. The North Zone team was leading by a huge margin of 168 runs in the first innings and when the team reached the score of 59-0, the match's stipulated duration got over. As a result, the North Zone team won the match on the basis of its lead in the first innings and also clinched the championship title in Duleep Trophy, 1990-91.