Sports

Vidarbha Defeat Saurashtra To Lift The Ranji Trophy For Second Time

HARSH RANJAN | 1
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| February 7 , 2019 , 15:20 IST

Vidarbha lifted their second successive Ranji Trophy title with a comfortable 78-run win over Saurashtra in the final.

Saurashtra had ended runners-up to Mumbai in 2012-13 and 2015-16 and again it was a case of so close yet so far for them.

"Everyone thought it was a fluke when we won last year and we were under pressure to retain the title. But our focus was processed, we never bothered about reputation," Vidarbha's talismanic coach Chandrakant Pandit said.

Man of the match left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate claimed three of the five wickets that fell on Thursday, to end with career-best match figures of 11/57. He took six for 59 in the second innings.

It was his maiden haul of 10 or more wickets in a first-class match. He had scalped five batsmen in the first innings.

"People did not know where Vidarbha was but it will not be the case now. It is huge for Vidarbha. The team is doing a great job," said India pacer Umesh Yadav.

"I never thought I will win two titles with Vidarbha after playing 10 finals (eight with Mumbai)," gushed veteran Jaffer.

Vidarbha needed five wickets to defend their title while Saurashtra, in a chase of 206, was left a mountain to climb after a top-order collapse on Wednesday. They required 148 runs for their maiden title on the fifth and final day at the VCA stadium.

It took only one session on Day 5 for the Faiz Fazal-led Vidarbha to bundle out Saurashtra for 127 in the final of the Ranji Trophy.

The 206-run target set by Vidarbha proved to be a mountain of a task for the Saurashtra batters as they faltered mid-way to get all-out for just 127 runs.

While chasing, Cheteshwar Pujara departed for a fifth-ball duck as the cricket fraternity witnessed a stunning batting collapse by the visitors.

Aarpit Vasavada (5) and Sheldon Jackson (7) also failed to drive Saurashtra to a more convincing position as the Vidarbha bowlers wreaked havoc on the final day of the mega clash.

Batting first, Vidarbha posted a total of 312 as the defending champions side made a late surge, courtesy an unbeaten knock of 73 by Akshay Karnewar.

Apart from Karnewar, Akshay Wadkar played a handy knock of 45 to post a competitive total on a slow Nagpur track.

In reply, Saurashtra scored 307 runs in the first innings as opener Snell Patel (102) scored a brilliant ton to take his side closer to the score posted by Vidarbha.

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A fantastic knock of 46 by skipper Jaydev Unadkat also helped Saurashtra take leaps towards the 312-run score.

In the second innings, Vidarbha scored 200 and posted a target of 206 for Saurashtra, which looked a massive target for the final two days at the already slow pitch of Nagpur.

Sarwate then took the charge with the ball and dismantled the Saurashtra batting line-up in their 206-run chase.