Saurashtra wins maiden Ranji title

Unadkat springs into action to put the skids on Bengal’s chase

March 13, 2020 04:38 pm | Updated 09:49 pm IST - Rajkot

Saurashtra Ranji cricket team poses with the trophy after beating Bengal in Rajkot on March 13, 2020.

Saurashtra Ranji cricket team poses with the trophy after beating Bengal in Rajkot on March 13, 2020.

A magnificent tale of grind and toil came to a halt as Saurashtra, led by an inspiring Jaydev Unadkat, stopped Bengal on the fifth and final day to win its maiden title and bring the Ranji Trophy to its spiritual home on Friday.

Also read: Ranji Trophy final | Collective resilience gives Bengal sniff at lead

At the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here, Bengal, starting from 354 for six and needing 72 runs to overhaul the host’s first innings aggregate of 425 runs, could not hold out against Unadkat’s intensity and fell short by 44 runs.

Unadkat took two wickets for 12 runs in seven overs and effected a run out as Bengal could only manage 27 runs in 14 overs to total 381.

The match ended in a draw, with the home side posting 105 for four in its second essay and Saurashtra took the title in its fourth final appearance in last eight seasons on the basis of gaining the first innings lead. The first 83 minutes of the morning belonged to Unadkat.

Also read: Ranji Trophy final: Saurashtra, fourth time lucky!

The lanky left-arm seamer exhibited exemplary leadership to inspire his team to win the coveted trophy, named after Ranjitsinhji of Jamnagar. Unadkat dealt the first blow when he trapped dangerman Anustup Majumdar (63) in front with a beauty in the sixth over of the day. Two

balls later, he ran Akash Deep out freakishly to swing the match in the host’s favour. Akash’s run out hampered Bengal’s progress and hurt its morale.

Also read: Ranji Trophy semifinals, Day Five: Unadkat steers Saurashtra into final

Wicketkeeper Avi Barot’s throw missed the stumps following Unadkat’s delivery. Noticing that Akash was still out of his crease marginally, the Saurashtra skipper picked up the ball and hit the stumps successfully. Television replays showing Akash’s lack of effort in putting his bat or foot inside the line baffled many. Even as Arnab Nandi (40 not out, 126b, 5x4, 1x6) fought a lone battle, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja claimed Mukesh Kumar’s wicket and Unadkat had Ishan Porel lbw to trigger wild celebrations in the home camp.


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