Duleep final promises keen fare

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/c/cricgen3.jpg' class='caption'> The five-day Duleep Trophy final between North Zone and hosts West Zone promises a no-holds-barred battle between two evenly matched sides.

Updated: February 18, 2008 13:18 IST
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The five-day Duleep Trophy cricket final between defending champions North Zone and hosts West Zone promises a no-holds-barred battle between two evenly matched sides at the Wankhede Stadium here from Tuesday.

Both the rivals in the domestic first class season-ending clash have batsmen capable of playing big knocks, as was evident in their previous league matches which both won comfortably.

North Zone, powered by double centuries from opener Aakash Chopra and Mithun Manhas in the second innings, and also put on a massive stand of 368 for the third wicket, and some incisive bowling by tall pacer V R V Singh, who grabbed eight wickets, steamrollered East by 433 runs at Rajkot.

West, on the other hand, hammered the visiting England Lions by nine wickets at Vadodara.

West have been bolstered by the return from Australia of Mumbai and India opener Wasim Jaffer who found his feet in home environs after his dismal run in the Test series against Australia.

The huge stand of 342 between the lanky right-hander, who made 151, and his young Mumbai mate Ajinkya Rahane (172) for the second wicket, paved the way for West's comprehensive victory over the English side.

Medium pacer Sidharth Trivedi and off break bowler Yusuf Pathan shared nine wickets to pack off England Lions from the six-team tournament.

Both sides sport a good medium pace attack and West have tried to pep up their spin department by the inclusion of Gujarat off spinner Mohnish Parmar in place of the out-of-form Ramesh Powar.

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