- Vidarbha seals fairytale rise with maiden Ranji Trophy
- Vidarbha beat Delhi by 9 wickets to win the Ranji Trophy
- This was their maiden final appearance and hence the first title
- They become 18th team to win the title
- The legend of Ranji Trophy, Wasim Jaffer got the laurels of hitting the winning runs
Emotional Vidarbha players jumped and celebrated in joy after defeating Bengal in the semifinal of the Ranji Trophy. That showed what the victory meant for them.
So the hunger increased, they knew that they could not fail after reaching so far, it was their maiden final appearance.
They utilised the opportunity by thumping 7-time champions Delhi by 9 wickets to become the 18th team to win the coveted Indian Domestic title.
Considered as the underdogs, Vidarbha surprised everyone coming in their way. In the final, they won the toss and invited Delhi to bat first. Hat-trick from Rajneesh Gurbani meant that despite Dhruv Shorey’s 145, Delhi were bowled out for 295 runs in the first innings.
In reply, riding on century from Akshay Vinod Wadkar(133*) and half centuries from Siddesh Neral, Aditya Sarwate, Wasim Jaffer and Faiz Faizal Vidarbha piled up 547 runs in Holkar stadium. It gave them a monstrous lead of 252 runs.
Left with a monumental task to do, Delhi’s oldest war-horse Gautam Gambhir could not lift the team as he scored 36 runs while captain Rishabh Pant scored 32. 62 and 64 from first innings centurion Dhruv and Nitish Rana respectively helped 7-time champion save the face by avoiding an innings defeat but they folded out for 280, 15 less than their previous total. That left Vidarbha with 29 runs to lift the crown.
After losing captain Faiz Faizal in the very first over, Wasim Jaffer struck 4 fours in the fifth over to complete the formality and add a new page in the history books.
By winning the title, Vidarbha also ensured that veteran Wasim Jaffer, who is the highest scorer in Ranji Cricket history, got his hand on the trophy. He had switched to Vidarbha from Mumbai after 2015 season. It was the legend himself who hit the winning runs.
Delhi 295 and 280 (Nitish Rana 64, Dhruv Shorey 62; Akshay Wakhare 4/95, Aditya Sarwate 3/30) lost to Vidarbha 547 (Akshay Wadkar 133, Aditya Sarwate 79, Wasim Jaffer 78; Navdeep Saini 5/135) and 32/1 (Wasim Jaffer 17*) by 9 wickets.