In the finals of the much talked about domestic tournament of India – The Ranji Tophy, it was Vidarbha who turned out to be the champions of the event for the second successive time under the leadership of Faiz Fazal.
Batting first Vidarbha scored 312 with Akshay Karnewar’s knock of 73 (160) being the stand out performance. Saurashtra did have a centurion from their end as Snell Patel scored a valuable 102 (209) for his side. But the left arm spinner Aditya Sarwate deflated opposition batsmen in both the innings with a fifer and sixfer in the two innings that he was asked to bowled to.
Vidarhbha ultimately posted a target of 195 in the second innings, which Saurashtra failed to chase down as they fell short of 78 runs, courtesy Sarwate’s brilliance with the red leather.
In the post match conference, the Saurashtra skipper – Jaydev Unadkat, was proud with the way his men played a particular brand of cricket which took them to the finals, and also highlighted the young stars of Saurashta for not getting overshadowed by Cheteshwar Pujara, as they manage to stand up for themselves throughout the tenure. Unadkat also congratulated Vidarbha for winning the prestigious title.
“The final lived up to its expectation. It was a close game and we fought really hard. Credit goes to Vidarbha. The brand of cricket we played was impressive and until I am leading this bunch, I will ensure that we play the same way.”
“Many guys debuted this season and had a good run in the team. It wasn't just about Cheteshwar or Ravindra, but the youngsters stood up in the knockouts and in the league stage. I just hope to lead this bunch of guys and nurture this brand of cricket.”
“We have given it everything and fought till the end. It has been a good season personally and hope to continue the same form. Lot to learn from Vidarbha and that's how you improve your cricket,” Unadkat expressed.
About the Author
Comes from the United Arab Emirates, is a sports junkie and a journalist, who has been following cricket as well as football since childhood. Played cricket in academies, school, and university levels. A fanatic follower of one of Europe's biggest ever football clubs - Manchester United.