Ranji Trophy: Vidarbha creates history, wins first ever title

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Vidarbha players with the Ranji Trophy title. Image Source: BCCI

Internet Desk: Vidarbha wins their maiden title today as they beat a formidable Delhi side by 9 wickets in the final of the Ranji Trophy 2017-18. Facing the seven-time champions Delhi, Vidarbha showed real courage to clinch their very first Ranji Trophy.

Vidarbha wins their maiden title today as they beat a formidable Delhi side by 9 wickets in the final of the Ranji Trophy 2017-18. Facing the seven-time champions Vidarbha showed real courage to clinch their very first Ranji Trophy.

Chasing a target of 29, Vidarbha completed the task with loss of skipper Faiz Fazal’s wicket.

Opting to field, Vidarbha bowled out Delhi for 295 in the first innings with 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 Vidarbha were 528 for seven with wicketkeeper Wadkar unbeaten on 133, but 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 for 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.

In their second innings, Delhi were all out for 280 with Shorey scoring another half-century – a 142-ball 62 – while Nitish Rana struck 64.

Vidarbha chased down the 29-run target with a day to spare at the Holkar Stadium, which hosted the title clash of the tournament for the second successive time.

Trailing by 252 runs, Delhi lost opener Kunal Chandela with just 32 runs on the board. And a bigger blow was dealt on the seven-time winners when their most experienced campaigner, Gautam Gambhir, in what looked like a debatable decision, was adjudged out lbw off Gurbani to a ball that seemed to be heading down the leg side.

The out-of-favour India opener looked in good touch during his quick 36 off 37 balls (32 coming in boundaries), and could have helped Delhi’s cause had he stayed longer.

First-innings centurion Shorey and Rana then added 114 runs for the third wicket.

As per stats are concerned Wasim Jaffer is now part of 9 Ranji Trophy titles and he has never been on the losing side.

Chandrakant Pandit has now won the Ranji Trophy as a player for Mumbai (1983-84, 1984-85) & as a coach for Mumbai (2002-03, 2003-04, 2015-16), Rajasthan (2011-12) and Vidarbha (2017-18).

Brief Scores

Delhi 295 & 280 (Dhruv Shorey 62, Nitish Rana 64; Akshay Wakhare 4 for 95) lost to Vidarbha 547 & 32 for 1 (Sanjay Ramaswamy 9* ; Wasim Jaffer 17* ; Kulwant Khejroliya 1 for 21) by  9 wickets.

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