(Photo Courtesy: Indian Express)
After setting Saurashtra a challenging target of 206 to chase, Aditya Sarwate went onto pick up a 5 wicket haul adding to his 6 in the first innings to bundle them out for 127, giving Vidarbha their second consecutive title.
Defending champions Vidarbha won their second successive Ranji Trophy title after beating Saurashtra by 78 runs at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur on Thursday. Aditya Sarwate was the star of the show as he emerged as the pick of the lot with 11 wickets added with 49 crucial runs as well.
Set a target of 206, Saurashtra folded for 127 in the 59th over on the fifth day, giving Vidarbha their second title triumph in the country’s marquee first-class tournament.
Left arm spinner Sarwate proved his worth after he castled Pujara in both innings. After scoring a crucial century that saw his side beat Karnataka and go through to the finals, Pujara had no answer to the spinner’s mastery as he fell for 1 and 0 in the two innings.
Coming into the fifth day, Saurashtra had their backs against the wall. They resumed from 58/5, needing 148 runs more. Vishvaraj Jadeja alongside Kamlesh Makvana battled hard to defy Vidarbha’s bowlers for the first half an hour.
But an error in judgement from Makvana allowed Sarwate get the breakthrough. As he expected the ball to pitch and spin away from his off stump, while offering no shot, the ball remained straight and clipped the top of off stump. This dismissal allowed the floodgates to open.
Shortly after Prerak Mankad fell, Jadeja got to his third fifty in first class cricket but departed soon. He went for the sweep to Sarwate following a drinks break and the lapse in concentration cost him and Saurashtra dearly. He missed a rash sweep shot and was struck on the thigh which was going on to hit the middle stump. As he stood around for a few seconds, looking downward, he immediately knew the mistake but there was no turning back. It proved to be the final nail in the coffin.
The tail didn’t wag much as they did in the first innings as both Unadkat and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, who took seven wickets, departed playing the sweep shot.
Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal, who successfully led his side to defend the title went on to thank each and everyone who were a part of this amazing journey.
“Really happy with the entire season but more happy with the way we played this final. Can’t thank them enough, each and every member of the support stuff has been incredible. They give us everything and make our life comfortable,” said Fazal.
For his superb performance that saw him bag 11 wickets, Aditya Sarwate was rightfully adjudged the man of the match.
BRIEF SCORES: Vidarbha 312 (Akshay Karnewar 73, Jaydev Unadkat 3/54) and 200 (Aditya Sarwate 49, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 6/96) beat Saurashtra 307 (Snell Patel 102, Aditya Sarwate 5/98) and 127 (Vishvaraj Jadeja 52, Aditya Sarwate 6/59) by 78 runs.