Vidarbha players jubilate with the Ranji Trophy after winning the final against Delhi in Indore on Monday
Indore: Vidarbha clinched their maiden Ranji Trophy cricket title crushing Delhi by nine wickets on the fourth and penultimate day of their final at the Holkar Stadium here on Monday. Vidarbha put up a huge first innings total of 547, taking a commanding lead of 252 runs before bowling out Delhi for 280 in their second innings, getting a target of merely 29 runs.
Maiden finalists Vidarbha lost only one wicket and took only five overs to chase down the target which gave them their first Ranji Trophy title. The turnaround of the match came on Sunday afternoon when Akshay Wadkar (133) shared two crucial partnerships with Aditya Sarwate (79) and Siddhesh Neral (74) in their first innings. The stand between Wadkar and Sarwate came into effect when Vidarbha were 246/6. Wicket-keeper-batsman Wadkar and Sarwate stitched together an important partnership of 169.
Then Wadkar joined hands with Neral as they took Vidarbha to 528 for seven at stumps on Sunday. On Monday morning, Wadkar, who struck his maiden first-class century, got out to Kulwant Khejroliya without adding any run to his overnight score, ending a stand of 132 runs for the eighth wicket.
Neral, who resumed batting at his score of 56, extended his knock with couple of fours before pacer Navdeep Saini had him caught by wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant as Vidarbha were bowled out for 547.
Trailing by 252 runs, it was always going to be a stiff task for Delhi. Vidarbha further got a sniff of victory when they reduced the capital side to 50/2. While Kunal Chandela fell to spiner Akshay Wakhare (4/95), veteran Gautam Gambhir was dismissed by a debatable LBW verdict in favour of medium pacer Rajneesh Gurbani (2/92).
Left-hander Gambhir played an uncharacteristic Test innings. He took the attack to the opposition, scoring run-a-ball 36 before his dismissal.
The responsibility fell on Nitish Rana (64) and Dhruv Shorey (62). The pair did well to forge a partnership of 114 runs. While Nitish played a calculative knock, Shorey's innings was all about dogged approach.
Left-arm spinner Sarwate (3/30) broke the stand when first-innings century-maker Shorey edged to Wadkar while trying to play a cut shot.
Gurbani returned to remove Nitish. Wakhare bowled Himmat Singh (0) to further dent Delhi's hopes. Then Neral got the prized wicket of captain Pant as Delhi lost their sixth wicket for 222 runs.
Brief scores: Delhi: 295 and 280 (Nitish Rana 64, Dhruv Shorey 62, Akshay Wakhare 4/95, Aditya Sarwate 3/30) lost to Vidarbha 547 (Akshay Wadkar 133, Aditya Sarwate 79, Wasim Jaffer 78, Siddhesh Neral 74, Faiz Fazal 67, Navdeep Saini 5/135, Akash Sudan 2/102) and 32 for one wicket.