(Last Updated on : 17/12/2010)
The Duleep Trophy, 1997-98 comprised all the five regular participating zonal teams that had played in all the previous editions of the tournament till then. The Duleep Trophy is considered to be one of the most popular and successful domestic cricket tournaments in India. The cricket enthusiasts of India were also quite interested about the tournament, as Duleep Trophy has already presented a large number of talented and world class cricketers to the Indian national team. The participating teams of the tournament were selected by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and BCCI selected the teams from five different geographical locations of India. The teams were named as the East Zone, West Zone, North Zone, South Zone and Central Zone and all of them played with a common objective of winning the championship title in Duleep Trophy, 1997-98. The competitive mentality of all the teams eventually made the tournament a highly competitive one and the teams also presented a number of closely contested matches to the cricket enthusiasts.
The teams of East Zone and North Zone were involved in the first match of Duleep Trophy, 1997-98 and the match was held at Secunderabad from 01-05 December, 1997. The captain of North Zone, A Sharma took the decision of batting first in the match, after winning the toss. The North Zone batsmen showed a good batting performance in their first innings and they scored a good total of 295 runs. The opener, V Rathour became the top scorer for North Zone by scoring 94 runs and A Chopra also played nicely to score 63 runs in North Zone's first innings. While replying to the first innings total of North Zone, the East Zone batsmen showed a much better batting display and scored a good total of 346 runs to surpass their opponent's total. The East Zone opener, N Haldipur played a wonderful innings of 103 runs for his team and he got good support from R Gavaskar, who scored 55 runs. The North Zone batsmen batted in their second innings with a deficit of 51 runs in the first innings and their captain declared the innings on the score of 279 runs for 8 wickets in the second innings. U Chatterjee picked up 5 wickets for 102 runs on behalf of East Zone in North Zone's second innings. Thus, the East Zone team required 228 runs in the second innings to win the match and the East Zone batsmen eventually scored 232-5 for winning the match by 5 wickets. The East Zone team also entered into the Semi-Finals of Duleep Trophy, 1997-98 by winning this match.
The first Semi-Final of Duleep Trophy, 1997-98 was played between the teams of Central Zone and East Zone and the match took place at Bangalore from 07-11 December, 1997. There was no play possible in the first day of the match. Winning the toss, the East Zone skipper, S Raul decided to bat first in the match and he got good support from his batsmen. The East Zone batsmen played well and scored a good total of 337 runs in their first innings, before getting all out. D Gandhi played extremely well for East Zone and scored a magnificent century of 158 runs to become the top scorer for his team. The Central Zone batsmen could not play as much well as the East Zone batsmen and they got all out for a score of 295 runs for 7 wickets in their first innings. The opener, JP Yadav remained unbeaten after scoring 145 runs for his team. However, as the stipulated duration of the match got over by the time Central Zone reached the score of 295-7, the match ended in a draw. The match officials declared the Central Zone team as the winner of the match, after calculating runs per wicket of both the teams. The Central Zone team also reached the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1997-98.
The South Zone and West Zone teams played against each other in the second Semi-Final of Duleep Trophy, 1997-98 and the two teams played the match at Vishakhapatnam from 09-13 December, 1997. There was no play in the first two days of the match, due to some unavoidable reasons. The toss of the match was won by the West Zone skipper, N Mongia and he took the decision of batting first in the match. The West Zone batsmen gave good support to their captain's decision, as they scored a good total of 321 runs, before getting all out in their first innings. The opener, W Jaffer became the top scorer for West Zone by playing a wonderful innings of 133 runs. In reply to the first innings total of West Zone, the South Zone batsmen faced some troubles and could score only 262 runs in their first innings, before getting all out. The famous batsmen, S Sharath scored a good century of 111 runs for South Zone in the first innings. After attaining a good lead of 59 runs in the first innings, the West Zone batsmen scored 101-3, before the end of play. Thus, the West Zone team was declared as the winner of the match for having a better record in qualifying and the team also entered into the Final of Duleep Trophy, 1997-98, by winning this match.
The Final of Duleep Trophy, 1997-98 saw the teams of Central Zone and West Zone and the match was organised at Chennai from 17-21 December, 1997. The West Zone team batted first in the match, as its captain, N Mongia decided so after winning the toss. The West Zone batsmen played very well in their first innings and Mongia declared the first innings, after reaching the score of 384-7. The batsmen like J Martin (72), A Agarkar (56) and J Paranjpe (55) were the premium scorers for West Zone in the first innings. However, the stipulated duration of the match got over when Central Zone reached the score of 36-5 in the first innings. Thus, the match officials declared both the West Zone and South Zone teams as the joint winners of Duleep Trophy, 1997-98.