The team of Vidarbha has made their name engraved in the history books by successfully defending the Ranji Trophy title with a comfortable 78-run win over Saurashtra in this season’s final.
The team needed just five-wicket to defend their title on the final day of the play while Saurashtra required another 148 runs to win their maiden title on the fifth and final day at the VCA stadium in Nagpur.
Aditya Sarwate was the hero for Vidarbha and gave them the much-needed breakthrough after Kamlesh Makvana and Vishvaraj Jadeja had stitched a crucial partnership of 33 runs for the sixth wicket. The whole nation saw Saurashtra side giving an amazing fightback all through the season. So it was inevitable that it had to be something dramatic that portended the end of the fight for them.
The end came in Sarwate’s second over of the day. A terrible misjudgment from Makvana became the end of him as he was out bowled leaving the ball. His fellow teammate Akshay Wakhare was not too far behind, taking three wickets in the last innings. Wakhare followed up Sarwate’s wicket of Mahwana with Prerak Mankad’s wicket in the very next over.
Only three runs were added to the total when Wakhare trapped Prerak Mankad to push Saurashtra in more trouble. Saurashtra were now 91 runs for the loss of seven wickets. Survival or victory was a long shot away for Saurashtra, who needed a further 115 runs with three wickets remaining.
As the wicket kept on tumbling at the other end, Vishvaraj reached his half-century but Sarwate was in no mood to stop. He trapped both Vishvaraj and the captain of Saurashtra Jaydev Undakat at the score of 121.
After doing all the hard work, Wakhare picked up the last wicket of Dharmendrasinh Jadeja when he tried to loft the ball for a boundary but lofted it straight to Sarwate. The whole Vidarbha side was ecstatic after winning the title for the second time.
Left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate was awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ for is amazing bowling skills. He picked up 11 wickets in the match.
With this win, Vidarbha has become the only sixth team in the tournament’s history to have defended the title. Mumbai, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Delhi are the other sides who have managed to secure consecutive titles.
This is also the third time that Saurashtra has ended up being the runner-up of the highly-prestigious cricket tournament. The side ended runners-up to Mumbai in 2012-13 and 2015-16. This final defeat means Saurashtra have not lost all the three Ranji Trophy titles they have been involved in.
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar