Defiant Vidarbha Prolong Mumbai’s Wait For 42nd Ranji Trophy Triumph


A tough challenge from Vidarbha, led by Karun Nair (74) and captain Akshay Wadkar (56 not out), prolonged Mumbai's wait for a 42nd Ranji Trophy title as the visitors scored 248 in the fourth over while chasing a mammoth target of 538. Reached /5. Last day of the finals in Mumbai on Wednesday. Set an impossible target to win the summit clash after trailing since afternoon on the first day, Vidarbha put in a resolute performance with the bat and frustrated their hosts by resorting to stonewalling for most of the day.

Nair, who joined Vidarbha early this season, was at the forefront of their resistance as he faced 220 balls while batting for 287 minutes to contain Mumbai.

But the right-handed batsman ultimately fell victim to Mushir Khan's brilliance at the end of the day, with the 19-year-old producing a brilliant bowling display after setting up the game with 136 in the second innings.

Nair captain Wadkar was playing on 56 runs with Harsh Dubey (11 not out). The team needed 290 more runs with five wickets remaining.

Mumbai took two wickets each in the first two sessions and Nair took important wickets in the last. He took the second new ball in the 82nd over of the innings.

By then, Mumbai had made almost every effort on the calm pitch of the Wankhede Stadium. There was more to it for the home side's spinners who remained consistent throughout.

Mumbai's trio of right-arm fast bowlers took turns bowling around the wickets to try to bowl out Vidarbha, while the spinners worked from both ends to challenge the batsmen's technique.

In the end, Vidarbha won with a moral victory of sorts, given the occasion and pressure of the final and the fact that the target of 538 was considered out of reach for most batting line-ups.

The leader of the spin pack for Mumbai was Musheer, who remained almost unbeaten with his figures of 17-3-24-2. He bowled challengingly from both sides of the pitch to trouble Vidarbha's batsmen.

Musheer's dismissal of Nair, who had earlier been dismissed by Hardik Tamore for four off Kotian, was the standout.

Giving the ball a good loop to land on middle and in front of leg, Musheer gets it away sharply.

It was not the first time in the day that Musheer had challenged Nair's defense in this manner, but on this occasion, he found an outside edge which Tamore took swiftly.

After Vidarbha made their intentions clear on the day, Tanush Kotian also played his part, taking 2/55 in 19 overs, dismissing Dhruv Shorey (28) and Yash Rathore (7).

Vidarbha's batsmen did not show any intention of chasing down huge targets at any stage on Wednesday but, barring Atharva Taide (32), they showed enough discipline to ensure they had long spells in the middle.

Tide went across the wickets to attempt a sweep off Shams Mulani (1/56) in the 19th over and was LBW, after which Mumbai soon struck another blow to send Shore back to the shed .

Aman Mokhade (32) got a lease of life when a sweep shot went straight to Kotian at fine leg who dropped the catch with the batsman on 15.

Mokhade, however, could not take advantage of that gift of life when despite a review the on-field umpire's decision of leg before went against him.

Wadkar looked more engaged than his teammates and scored an unbeaten 56 off 91 balls with six fours, including an upper-cut to bring up his half-century.

The Vidarbha captain also did well with Nair, adding 90 runs for the fifth wicket in 173 balls.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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