Updated: January 1, 2018 6:21:17 pm
Vidarbha could not have picked a better day to win their maiden Ranji Trophy title. On the New Year’s Day, the team completed a terrific win over seven-time champions Delhi to lift their maiden Ranji title. The perfect gift for New Year’s was made better when veteran batsman Wasim Jaffer scored the winning runs for his team with three consecutive boundaries. But it was a collective team effort throughout the season and especially in the final against Delhi which gave them a emphatic nine-wicket win in Indore.
The fourth day in Indore saw Delhi being bowled out inside a day when Vidarbha played 8.4 overs in the morning and five overs in the final session to win the game. The champions deserved to win the game as their were consistent from day one. Rajneesh Gurbani, their best bowler took a hat-trick in the final. When Delhi closed-in to bowl them out with small lead in the first innings, their lower-order made sure they bat Delhi out. In the second innings, Vidarbha bowlers bowled Delhi out and the 29-run target was chased down quickly so that the team can celebrate the win on the first day of the New Year itself.
Resuming at an overnight score of 528 for 7, Vidarbha added only 19 runs to it and were bowled out for 547 in the first innings. But that score gave them a lead of 252 runs. Delhi had more than two sessions on Monday to bat and they looked good to get a lead in the second innings when Nitish Rana and Dhruv Shorey scored half-centuries. But both fell moments before Tea and third session saw them lose the remaining six wickets in quick succession.
Overnight centurion for Vidarbha Wadkar and his partner Neral began the day but after adding 19 runs, both fell. First Neral was dismissed by Navdeep Saina caught behind. On the same team score, Wadkar was caught by Rana off Kulwant Khejroliya. The final wicket also fell on the same score.
Delhi opened with Chandela and Gautam Gambhir but in the ninth over, the former was dismissed by Wakhare with the team score of 38. Gambhir was the next to follow. 12 runs later, he was trapped in front by Gurbani. That was when Shorey and Rana joined hands. They shared a 114-run partnership and were moving along nicely when left-arm spinner Sarwate had him caught behind for 62. Rana, batting at 64, fell to Gurbani 25 runs later.
The stand between Rana and Shorey was helped by some poor catching by Vidarbha. Both were dropped and two of the three chances were early in their innings. Rana was on 15 when he was dropped at short-leg. Shorey had the stroke of luck when Jaffer put him down at slips off Neral. The two then scored freely and reached their half-centuries. When Shorey was on 59, Jaffer put down another chance at slips.
But the quick scoring from both also caused them their wickets. Shorey fell first. Pant and Rana did not let the scoring rate fall. But before Tea, both were dismissed with Rana’s dismissal becoming the final ball of the second session.
The final session began with Wakhare removing Himmat Singh. Pant still looked strong and was scoring quick runs but his innings ended when he skied one when on 32. Vikas Mishra tried some big shots and succeed which gave Delhi the lead but it was a matter of time before Delhi were bowled out and Vidarbha chased the target down.
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