Brilliant Sarwate helps Vidarbha retain Ranji Trophy title

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Brilliant Sarwate helps Vidarbha retain Ranji Trophy title

08 Feb 2019 031 Views Yash Mittal

The Big Picture

Riding on Aditya Sarwate's eleven-wicket haul, defending champions Vidarbha successfully defended their Ranji Trophy title, handing Saurashtra their second defeat in the summit clash in the last five years.

It is often the case a summit clash often ends in an anti-climax- a damp squib. But the Ranji Final was a refreshing exception to the aforementioned fact. It was a battle of attrition, fightbacks, and game-changing performances.

The first blow came from Saurashtra, who, led by Jaydev Unadkat [3-54] and Chetan Sakariya [2-44] reduced the defending champions to 7-198 before a low-order rearguard action from Akshay Karnewar [73], who stitched a crucial 78-run stand with Wakhare [34] to bloat the first-innings total to 312.

The Number Story-

  • Friday's win was Wasim Jaffer's tenth Ranji Trophy win. He has featured in 10 Ranji Trophy finals and has ended up on the victorious side on each occasion.
  • Vidarbha became the sixth side to successfully defend their Ranji Trophy final.

All eyes were on Cheteshwar Pujara in Saurashtra's first-innings but the Indian No.3 fell for 1 off Sarwate [5-98] and it took a herculean inning of 102 by wicket-keeper Snell Patel [102] and a rearguard action from the lower-order- spearheaded by Unadkat's 101-ball 46 to help the team inch close [307] to the Vidarbha's first-innings total of 312.

With the first-innings ending with five runs separating the sides', the game was reduced to a one-inning shoot-out with a telling blow from either end, enough to sway the title in favor of either side.

Dharmendrasinh Jadeja's six-wicket haul [6-96] seemed to have landed that decisive blow as he knocked over +Vidarbha's top-order to bowl them out for 200 in 92.5 overs. But, as they always say in sport, do not count out the champion until the game is done and dusted. Vidarbha's resurgence- led by Aditya Sarwate, firstly, with the bat, as he scored a crucial 46 to help his side post a target of 196, and lastly, during his spell of 6-59, was a testimony to the aforementioned fact.

Sarwate dealt a telling blow on the fourth evening when he accounted for Cheteshwar Pujara for a 5-ball duck by luring him for the non-existent turn and reduce them to 3-22.

Pujara's wicket kickstarted a collapse from which Saurashtra could never recover as Sarwate [6-59] and Wakhare [3-37] ran through their batting line-up to clinch back-to-back titles for Vidarbha.

Yash Mittal

Bharat Army Cricket Writer

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