Mumbai drub Saurashtra for title No 40
Cricket Ranji Trophy: Hosts win by an innings and 125 runs
A dominant Mumbai lifted their 40th Ranji Trophy title after skipper Ajit Agarkar and Dhawal Kulkarni combined to wreck Saurashtra for an innings and 125-run victory in the five-day final that ended inside three days at the Wankhede Stadium here on Monday.
Saurashtra, trailing the home team by 207 runs in the first innings, were shot out for a paltry 82 in less than three hours and 36.3 overs, 41 minutes after tea. Mumbai, thus, clinched their 40th title in 44 appearances in the summit contests.
Agarkar snapped up four wickets for 15 runs while his younger team-mate Kulkarni grabbed 5-32 to complete splendid match figures of nine for 56. The home team pace duo set up the win with its fiery first spells to help Mumbai regain the crown after a gap of two seasons.
The other wicket-taker for Mumbai was Abhishek Nayar (1-3). Mumbai also earned the right to take on the Rest of India in the Irani Cup tie which is to be held at the same venue from February 6 to 10.
The home team also won Rs 2 crore as the prize money while Saurashtra got Rs 1 crore. The visiting team’s batsmen showed a distinct lack of application and surrendered on a wicket that provided good pace, bounce and prodigious movement to the swing bowlers even on day three.
They capitulated for the second time in the match after having been bowled out for 148 in 75.3 overs in the first innings on day one to which Mumbai replied with 355. The highest score in a dismal batting display for Saurashtra was 22 off 35 balls by Dharmendrasinh Jadeja. Saurya Sanandiya (16) was the only other player to reach double figures after staying for more than an hour at the crease.
Among the top seven batsmen dismissed, none reached double figures and three of them — openers Sitanshu Kotak, Sagar Jogiyani and first innings top-scorer Arpit Vasavada — failed to score. Rahul Dave (5), skipper Jaydev Shah (6), Sheldon Jackson (9) and Kamlesh Makwana (7) were the other top-order batsmen to depart with single digit scores.
Agarkar took three for 15 in a fiery first spell of eight overs and Kulkarni claimed as many for same number of runs in his opening spell of nine overs. Makwana was sent back by Nayar with the score on 34.
Kulkarni came back to grab the wicket of Sanandiya to leave Saurashtra on the brink of defeat at 53 for 8. The innings was prolonged by Jaydev Unadkat (9) and Jadeja, who put on 29 runs, before Agarkar returned for his second spell to snap the ninth-wicket partnership.
Fittingly, Kulkarni came back for his third spell and ended the match by having Jadeja caught behind by Tare who grabbed his fourth victim of the innings to equal the championship season record of 41 by Uday Kaul of Punjab.
The tourists were tottering at 20 for 6 after the initial burst by Agarkar and Kulkarni and then managed to get past Saurashtra’s lowest-ever score of 25 all out, also against Mumbai at the nearby Brabourne Stadium 60 years ago.
Mumbai, who made 355 in their first innings building on the solid knock of 132 by opener Wasim Jaffer, thus regained the title after their success in the 2009-10 season when they defeated Karnataka at Mysore in the final.
Earlier in the morning, Saurashtra did well to grab the remaining four Mumbai first innings wickets while conceding 68 runs.
SAURASHTRA (I Innings): 148 all out
MUMBAI (I Innings, O/n 287/6): Ajit Agarkar lbw Jadeja 2, Dhawal Kulkarni c Kotak b Trivedi 18, Aniket Chavan c&b Makwana 41, Shardul Thakur c&b Makwana 10, Vishal Dabholkar (not out) 0. Extras (LB-10, NB-13, W-2) 25. Total (all out, 119 overs) 355.
Fall of wickets: 1-75, 2-89, 3-157, 4-209, 5-233, 6-237, 7-288 8-329, 9-344.
Bowling: Jaidev Unadkat 32-3-73-0, Siddharth Trivedi 25-7-54-2, Saurya Sanandiya 27-9-73-2, Dharmendra Jadeja 19-0-96-2, Kamlesh Makwana 16-2-49-3.
SAURASHTRA (II Innings): Sitanshu Kotak c Tare b Agarkar 0, Sagar Jogiyani c Tare b Agarkar 0, Rahul Dave c Chavan b Kulkarni 5, Arpit Vasavada lbw Agarkar 0, Jaidev Shah b Kulkarni 6, Sheldon Jackson b Kulkarni 9, Kamlesh Makvana c Shah b Nayar 7, Saurya Sanandiya c Dabholkar b Kulkarni 16, Jaidev Unadkat c&b Agarkar 9, Dharmendra Jadeja c Tare b Kulkarni 22, Siddharth Trivedi (not out) 0. Extras (B-1, W-1, NB-6) 8. Total (all out; 36.3 overs) 82.
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-5, 3-5, 4-11, 5-11, 6-20, 7-34, 8-53, 9-82.
Bowling: Ajit Agarkar 9-5-15-4, Dhawal Kulkarni 14.3-7-32-5, Shardul Thakur 8-2-29-0, Abhishek Nayar 3-0-3-1, Ankit Chavan 2-1-2-0.