Vidarbha win second straight Ranji Trophy title
Aditya Sarwate takes 11
Nagpur: Left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate starred with the ball to help defending champions Vidarbha retain their Ranji Trophy title by thrashing Saurashtra by 78 runs in the summit clash at the VCA Stadium here on Thursday.
Chasing a target of 206, Saurashtra folded up for 127, with Sarwate emerging the wrecker-in-chief, bagging six wickets in his 24 overs in the second innings. He had picked up 5/98 in the first innings.
Needing five wickets on the final day to clinch the title second time in a row, Sarwate, who finished with six wickets in the final innings, guided his team to the domestic title.
The left-armer emerged the hero of the 85th Ranji title clash after he scalped 11 wickets and scored 49 vital runs but more importantly negated the threat of India Test star Cheteshwar Pujara, dismissing him in both innings.
Off-spinner Akshay Wakhare provided the perfect support, claiming seven wickets in the match.
Vidarbha started the day on a positive note as, in the second over of the day, Sarwate dismissed Kamlesh Makvana (14) who along with Vishvaraj Jadeja forged a 33-run stand for the sixth wicket. Wakhare then dismissed Prerak Mankad (2) in the very next over and kept the pressure on with his tight line and length.
Needing 115 runs more with three wickets remaining, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (17 runs in 56 balls) supported Vishvaraj Jadeja (52 runs in 137 balls) handsomely but Sarwate again came into the picture and picked up the set batsman. Vishvraj was adjudged leg before wicket. After that, no other lower-order batsmen fought as skipper Jaydev Unadkat (7) then got dismissed and after couple of overs, Jadeja was sent packing by Wakhare.
With this result, Saurashtra have now lost all the three Ranji Trophy summit clashes that they have played so far.
Brief Scores: Vidarbha: 312 and 200 beat Saurashtra: 307 and 127 all out in 58.4 overs (Vishvaraj Jadeja 52; Aditya Sarwate 6/59) by 78 runs. IANS
*Vidarbha became the sixth team to successfully defend their title. The other sides to do so are Bombay (now Mumbai) (multiple times), Maharashtra (1939/40 and 1940/41), Delhi (1978/79 and 1979/80), Rajasthan (2010/11 and 2011/12) and Karnataka (1997/98 and 1998/99; 2013/14 and 2014/15).
*Faiz Fazal is now the 11th captain to claim two successive Ranji Trophy titles. Maharashtra's Prof DB Deodhar was the first captain to do so back in 1940 and 1941. Ajit Wadekar did it twice in 1969 and 1970 and then in 1972 and 1973. Bapu Nadkarni of Bombay (then) is the only one to have won three Ranji Trophy titles in a row.
*This is the 45th Ranji Trophy title won by teams based in the state of Maharashtra. While Mumbai have won the title 41 times, Maharashtra and Vidarbha have won two each.
*Wasim Jaffer became the first player in the history of Ranji Trophy to aggregate 1000-plus runs in two seasons. He amassed 1260 runs for Mumbai ten years ago in the 2008/09. In this season, he became the first player to go past 1000 runs in a season for Vidarbha.
*This is the 10th Ranji Trophy title for Wasim Jaffer. He has played 10 finals so far and won all of them.
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