Saurashtra won their first Ranji Trophy title earlier this month as they got the better of Bengal at the SCA stadium in Rajkot. It was perhaps fitting that the trophy returned to the home province of the man who gave it his name- the legendary Maharaja Ranjitsinhji, after all these years.
Saurashtra’s path to the title
Saurashtra finished their group engagements with three wins and four draws. They had a bit of a hiccup early in the competition when they were upset by Uttar Pradesh but recovered to finish second in the group behind Karnataka.
Bengal’s path to the final
Their opponents in the final were Bengal, and Arun Lal’s side progressed by virtue of finishing second in Group A behind Gujarat.
Knock out Stages
Saurashtra’s title triumph ended a long period of wait for their supporters. They had reached the finals three times in the last eight years only to fall at the final hurdle on each occasion. The win sparked massive celebrations among their supporters, many of whom played games at Indiacasinos.com to mark this momentous occasion.
The victory wasn’t an easy one for Saurashtra though. Bengal, playing their first final since 2007, were not willing to go down without a fight.
Saurashtra won the toss and were reduced to 206/5, before a fine 152 run stand between Arpit Vasavada and Cheteshwar Pujara resurrected the innings. The doughty Pujara was forced to retire on Day 1 due to fever and a throat infection but returned on the second day and was involved in the partnership that effectively won Saurashtra the game.
Veteran Anustup Majumdar, whose twin centuries had guided Bengal through the Knockout stages was unbeaten on a half century as the visitors finished Day 4 on 354/6, only 71 runs behind. However Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat delivered the killer blow on the final day, first trapping Majumdar leg before wicket and then running out Akash Deep two balls later. Bengal went from 361/6 to 361/8 and with that went their hopes of winning the title.
The pitch was perhaps a little more batting friendly that the neutrals would have wanted but there was no doubting that Saurashtra were deserved title winners.