On Thursday, the Vidarbha pacer, Aditya Sarwate’s dream performance in the final of the Ranji Trophy 2018/19 both with both bat and ball helped Vidarbha lift its second consecutive Ranji Trophy title with a 78-run victory over Saurashtra.
Sarwate picked up a 5-wicket haul in the first innings and he followed it u with a six-fer in the second, finishing with a match haul of 64-18-157-11. The six-fer was preceded by a crucial 49 in the Vidarbha’s second innings, helping the team to add 95 runs for the last four wickets and taking the lead past 200.
Chasing a target of 206, Saurashtra lost early wickets and failed to build any substantial partnership and a result of that they got bundled out for a meager score of 127 runs inside the first session on the fifth morning. Saurashtra had chased down much bigger targets in the fourth innings in the quarterfinal and semifinal, but the centurions on those occasions, Harvik Desai and Cheteshwar Pujara, were dismissed cheaply as Sarwate ran through the top order on the fourth evening, reducing them to 58 for five.
On the final morning, Vishvarajsinh Jadeja, Saurashtra’s No. 3, led the fight with a half-century. They managed to not lose any wicket in the opening half-hour of the first session, but a change of ball brought about a change in the fortunes for both the teams.
A moment of indecision from Kamlesh Makvana, who chose to not play a ball on off stump from Sarwate and was bowled, became sufficient window for Vidarbha to seal the game. Vishvaraj Jadeja, Prerak Mankad, and Jaydev Unadkat were out lbw. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja was the last wicket to fall, sparking celebration from the Vidarbha players and the coaching staff.
This is the third final that Saurashtra has lost, while Wasim Jaffer, playing his 10th Ranji Trophy final, added the rare record of winning all of them (8 for Mumbai and 2 for Vidarbha).
Vidarbha 312 (Karnewar 73*, Unadkat 3-54) and 200 (Sarwate 49, Dharmendrasinh 6-96) beat Saurashtra 307 (Patel 102, Sarwate 5-98) and 127 (Vishvaraj 52, Sarwate 6-59) by 78 runs
Here are some of the congratulatory messages for the Ranji Trohy Winners on Twitter:
Congratulating Vidarbha cricket team for winning Ranji Trophy for the second consecutive time. Captain Faiz Fasal and Coach C. Pandit deserve an applause.
Your achievement will not only inspire many more players, it will also refresh the entire sports fraternity of the region. pic.twitter.com/xRuI1KNq9l
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) February 7, 2019
Hearty Congrats to Vidharbha fr retaining & Keeping Ranji Trophy/1st Class Crkt alive..Kudos to Chandrakant Pandit & his indefatigable work ethics & hats off to Capt Fazl & MoM Sarwate fr remarkable feat plus exemplary calm behaviour worthy o the occasion..GodBless All VCA.!!
— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) February 7, 2019
Congratulations to Vidharba on winning the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 by defeating Saurashtra (by 78 runs). That's second consecutive Ranji Trophy title.
— Karnataka Ranji Team/ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ರಣಜಿ ತಂಡ (@RanjiKarnataka) February 7, 2019
Feels surreal to talk about West Zone's domination in the Ranji Trophy without a mention of Mumbai, but that's exactly how it has been. Champions of the last three seasons: Gujarat, Vidarbha and Vidarbha, with Saurashtra's fight thrown in.
— Shashank Kishore (@captainshanky) February 7, 2019
Congratulations Vidarbha on being deserving winners and for retaining the Ranji Trophy. May you keep on going from strength to strength and cherish this special moment.
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 7, 2019
Chandrakant Pandit has now won the Ranji Trophy
As a player:
Mumbai – 1983-84, 1984-85
Runner-up: Mumbai 1982-83, 1990-91; MP 1998-99
As a coach:
Mumbai: 2002-03, 2003-04, 2015-16
Vidarbha: 2017-18, 2018-19
Runner-up: Mumbai 2016-17#RanjiTrophyFinal
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) February 7, 2019
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) February 7, 2019
Congrats Vidarbha on retaining the Ranji Trophy. One win may be construed an aberration, two in a row is sign of prowess 👏👏
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 7, 2019