Vineet Sharma/Zeenews Sports
Chennai: It was sweet victory for Rajasthan team as they wrapped-up a clinical performance against Tamil Nadu and retained the Ranji Trophy for second year in a row.
Rajasthan had declared the seond innings at a score of 204/5, leading Tamil Nadu by 530 runs and immediately into the champion form they were in, took the first TN wicket with no runs on the board. Things didn’t improve for the opponents as they finally ended the last day of the Ranji Trophy final at 8/2.
With the draw and by the virtue of first innings lead, Rajasthan were crowned champions as the team erupted into celebrations on the field.
The final day’s highlight and heartbreak was Robin Bist as he got out at the cusp of a memorably century by eight runs. Ramaswamy Prasanna was the claimant of the prized scalp. The morning session was dominated by Bist. He passed 1000 runs in the season as Rajasthan asserted their dominance.
The defending champions Rajasthan had almost sealed the fate of the final in their name with a massive lead over the opponents and went into the final day with nothing but victory in sight.
The end for the champions retaining their title might have seemed a simple formality but it was the work done by the batsmen from the first day that eventually became the bane of Tamil Nadu squad.
Aakash Chopra (94, 18) and Vineet Saxena (257, 13) took the breath out of the opposition in the first hours of play and the latter came up with the sublime double century knock in the first innings to not just earn the Man of the Match award, but also to help win the title in style.
As the days went, captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar (67) and Robin Bist (57) also proved tough nuts and helped the holders post a mammoth 621 against the Tamil Nadu outfit on their home turf.
Aushik Srinivas had to give as many as 192 runs in the first innings for his four wickets and the others too, looked more ordinary.
For Tamil Nadu, wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik came up with a valiant knock of 150 runs but that was not enough for the team and Rajasthan, led by Rituraj Singh, wrapped them off in just 295 runs.
From there on, it was just a matter of time for Rajasthan and they held their nerves only to claim the highest prize in Indian domestic circuit and pocket a sum of two crore rupees. The Rajasthan outfit did not lose the plot at any juncture and the team defended the title in true champions’ style, a befitting end to a classic Ranji season.