Underdogs Vidarbha beat Delhi to clinch their maiden Ranji Trophy title.
Indore: Armed with a newfound self-belief and zest to go the extra mile, Vidarbha scripted a new chapter in the region’s cricket history by winning their maiden Ranji Trophy, comfortably defeating Delhi by nine wickets in the final here on Monday.
Set a measly 29 for victory, Vidarbha completed the formality in just five overs at the Holkar Stadium that had welcomed with open arms the family members of the cricketers, including skipper Faiz Fazal’s.
After Wasim Jaffer, one of the three professionals in the side, pulled Kulwant Khejroliya towards the fine leg boundary, the team broke into a joyous huddle, gave each other a bear hug and soon clicked with the trophy. The victory chant followed as an elated Fazal hugged his mother took and held his daughter. The wife and sisters basked in Fazal’s glory.
In between, there was a high five with his “mom”, before the triumphant captain looked for his father, who too stood there happily. Mumbai veteran Jaffer pulled Khejroliya four times as the bowler banged in short. Winning the Ranji title is not new for Jaffer, as he has been a part of Mumbai’s nine triumphs, but it was the first time he hit the winning runs.
That the tournament ended in a triumph for Fazal, who has been there for 15 seasons, was appropriate as he led the side from the front, scoring nearly 900 runs. Opting to field after winning the toss, Vidarbha bowled out Delhi for 295 in the first innings with Man of the Match Rajneesh Gurbani picking up six wickets.
In reply, Vidarbha notched up a mammoth 547 all out as Akshay Wadkar struck his maiden century in first-class cricket. Overnight 528/7, with wicketkeeper Wadkar unbeaten on 133, Delhi quickly picked up the remaining three wickets in the morning.
Young pacer Navdeep Saini was the most successful bowler for Delhi, returning figures of 5/135 after bowling a marathon 36.3 overs.
Delhi were a bowler short through the Vidarbha first innings as left-arm spinner Manan Sharma remained off the field due to a knee injury. Manan, though, batted in the second innings.
Delhi (1st innings): 295
Vidarbha (1st Innings, o/n 528/7): F. Fazal ct Rishabh Pant b Akash Sudan 67, S. Ramaswamy b Akash Sudan 31, Wasim Jaffer lbw Navdeep Saini 78, Ganesh Satish lbw Navdeep Saini 12, A. Wankhade ct Rishabh Pant b K. Khejroliya 28, A. Wakhare ct Rishabh Pant b Navdeep Saini 17, A. Wadkar ct Nitish Rana b K. Khejroliya 133, A. Sarvate c Rishabh Pant b Nitish Rana 79, Siddhesh Sunil Neral ct Rishabh Pant b Navdeep Saini 74, R. Gurbani (not out) 0, A. Thakare ct Dhruv Shorey b Navdeep Saini 0. Extras: (nb 6, w 5, b 14, lb 3) 28. Total: (in 163.4 overs) 547.
Bowling: Sudan 27-3-102-2, Saini 36.3-5-135-5, Rana 13.1-1-32-1, Khejroliya 39-8-132-2, Mishra 38-6-102-0, Shorey 10-1-27-0.
FoW: 1-96, 2-107, 3-133, 4-206, 5-237, 6-246, 7-415, 8-547, 9-547.
Delhi (2nd innings): Kunal Chandela ct Gurbani b Wakhare 9, Gautam Gambhir lbw b Gurbani 36, Dhruv Shorey c Wadkar b Sarvate 62, Nitish Rana c Wadkar b Gurbani 64, Rishabh Pant c Wankhade b Neral 32, Himmat Singh b Wakhare 0, Manan Sharma b Wakhare 8, Vikas Mishra st Wadkar b Sarvate 34, Navdeep Saini c Sarvate b Wakhare 5, Akash Sudan c Wankhade b Sarvate 18, K. Khejroliya (not out) 1. Extras: (nb 1, w 0, b 8, lb 2) 11. Total: (in 76 overs) 280.
Bowling: Gurbani 18-2-92-2, Thakare 12-6-14-0, Wakhare 28-2-95-4, Sarvate 9-1-30-3, Neral 9-1-39-1.
FoW: 1-32, 2-50, 3-164, 4-189, 5-190, 6-222, 7-228, 8-234, 9-279.
Vidarbha (2nd innings): F. Fazal lbw b Khejroliya 2, S. Ramaswamy (not out) 9, Wasim Jaffer (not out) 17. Extras: (lb 4) 4. Total: (for 1 wkt, in 5 overs) 32.
Bowling: Khejroliya 3-0-21-1, Sudan 2-0-7-0.