Vidarbha completed back-to-back title wins in Ranji Trophy cricket after beating Saurashtra by 78 runs at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.
Aditya Sarwate emerged as the difference maker to pick up six wickets in the second innings and 11 in the match to take it away from Saurashtra, chasing 206 runs for their maiden title. He also chipped in with 49 vital runs to push the game away from Saurashtra’s reach.
It took only one session on Day 5 for the Faiz Fazal-led Vidarbha to bundle out Saurashtra for 127 in the final of the Ranji Trophy, which was played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association in Nagpur. Aditya Sarwate was the pick of the bowlers for Vidarbha as the left-arm orthodox spinner picked up six wickets to dismantle the Saurasthra batting-line up in the second innings of the match. Sarwate was also the wrecker-in-chief in the first innings after he picked up a five-for.
The 206-run target set by Vidarbha proved to be a mountain of a task for the Saurashtra batters as they faltered mid-way to get all-out for just 127 runs. While chasing, Cheteshwar Pujara departed for a fifth-ball duck as the cricket fraternity witnessed a stunning batting collapse by the visitors. Aarpit Vasavada (5) and Sheldon Jackson (7) also failed to drive Saurashtra to a more convincing position as the Vidarbha bowlers wreaked havoc on the final day of the mega clash.
Batting first, Vidarbha posted a total of 312 as the defending champions side made a late surge, courtesy an unbeaten knock of 73 by Akshay Karnewar. Apart from Karnewar, Akshay Wadkar played a handy knock of 45 to post a competitive total on a slow Nagpur track.
In reply, Saurashtra scored 307 runs in the first innings as opener Snell Patel (102) scored a brilliant ton to take his side closer to the score posted by the home side. A fantastic knock of 46 by skipper Jaydev Unadkat also helped Saurashtra take leaps towards the 312-run score.
In the second innings, Vidarbha scored 200 and posted a target of 206 for Saurashtra, which looked a massive target for the final two days at the already slow pitch of Nagpur. Hero with the ball, Sarwate turned the tables with his bat as he played a gritty knock of 49 in 133 deliveries and took the match away from Saurashtra.
Sarwate, then took the charge with the ball and dismantled the Saurashtra batting line-up in their 206-run chase. Apart from Vishwaraj Jadeja (52), no one stood at the crease for Saurashtra as Vidarbha completed the rout and lifted back-to-back Ranji trophies.