Dominant Rajasthan win maiden Ranji Trophy title
Vadodara: Giant-killers Rajasthan notched up their maiden Ranji trophy title after defeating hosts Baroda on the basis of their first innings lead in the finals of the Super League cricket tournament here on Saturday.
Resuming their second innings at 201 for four, Rajasthan amassed 341 in 129.1 overs and then reduced Baroda to 28 for four in 14 overs with Deepak Chahar wrecking havoc with three wickets in his seven overs for 15 runs.
Earlier, skipper AL Menaria (101), who was dropped twice yesterday, added another 25 runs along with overnight batsman RR Parida (89) en route to his 149-ball century before being caught and bowled by Aditya Waghmode.
Parida also couldn’t hang around too long and was trapped in front of the wicket by BA Bhatt.
Murtuja Vahora then struck twice to remove Madhur Khatri (18) and Vivek Yadav (13). Deepak Chahar then became Swapnil Singh’s victim as Rajasthan slipped to 282 for nine.
But last man and wicketkeeper Rohit Jhalani cracked a 80-ball 43 -- studded with seven fours -- to add 59 runs with Pankaj Singh (24) to take Rajasthan to 341 in the second innings.
Chahar and Pankaj Singh then spitted venom and mowed down the top order at the Moti Bagh Stadium here.
The first wicket to fall was KH Devdhar (5) when he failed to negotiate Chahar’s short quick delivery and hooked it in the air as Saxena took the catch at square leg.
Two balls later, Pankaj scalped opener JA Kolsawala (13). His good length delivery angled across as going for a drive, Kolsawala edged it to wicketkeeper Rohit Jhalani as Baroda slumped to 18 for two.
In the sixth over, Chahar claimed his second wicket removing Swapnil Singh. His delivery squared up Swapnil and took his blade’s outside edge to Chopra at second slip.
Chahar struck again, dismissing Waghmode to claim his third wicket. He induced a leading edge off the batsman and completed an easy catch as Baroda were reduced to 24 for 4.
Later, Rajasthan skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar attributed the victory to the team effort.
“I can’t describe this feeling, it is a honour to play with these guys and it is satisfying that we have done it as a team, it is a team effort, that has been strength this season,” he said.