Delhi pulled off an excellent Ranji Trophy victory on Wednesday, handing two-time defending champions Vidarbha their first defeat since November, 2016—a 29-match streak—after unbeaten runs to the title within the final two seasons.
Set a 347-run goal after the champions declared their second innings the earlier night, Delhi appeared down for the rely, having misplaced tempo spearhead Ishant Sharma to a foul harm on Day 2 after which allowed the visiting aspect to pile on the runs on the Ferozeshah Kotla floor.
However, Delhi capped a exceptional turnaround on the final day. The hosts rode on their constructive batting to tug off the unlikely victory after resuming on 10 for no loss, reaching 348/Four to finish a six-wicket victory.
Left-handed batsman Nitish Rana blasted 105 not out off 68 balls after openers Kunal Chandela (75) and Hiten Dalal (82) had set it up by sharing in a 163-run partnership, having guided the group to 103 at lunch to construct confidence towards a bowling assault that included Umesh Yadav.
Not since December 2017, within the semi-closing towards Bengal, had Delhi seen a gap pair put up a century partnership. Vidarbha’s earlier loss had come over a 12 months earlier than that.
“I told the team that if we get a good opening stand, I’ll ensure we win the match. I was confident as it was a good wicket to bat on,” Rana mentioned after the sport.
Rana mentioned he requested coach KP Bhaskar to let him bat at No. 3, forward of captain Dhruv Shorey, to have a left-proper mixture on the crease and counter the left-arm spin of Aditya Sarwate, who had claimed seven wickets within the first innings.
His battle wasn’t merely towards Yadav, but in addition towards the sunshine. After curtailed play within the first three days as a result of poor gentle, there was sunshine. The wicket, robust to bat on the primary two days, appeared to have eased from the third day with the inexperienced pitch turning a pale yellow with no cracks.
Rana stored a detailed watch on the western Bishan Singh Bedi Stand. “I was keeping an eye on that railing (just above the stand). I know that if the sun comes to that level, the light starts to become a problem.”
His aggressive stroke play didn’t enable match to tug on until the shadows lengthened and reached the pitch. The Mumbai Indians and LB Shastri Club batsman, who had scored a century and 92 earlier this season, struck seven sixes, 4 of them off seamers, and 9 fours.
Not even the damaging outdoors off-stump line, with a 7-2 discipline, Vidarbha maintained for 8-10 overs, deterred him as he reached out to play pictures.
When pacer Rajneesh Gurbani and Co began bowling a damaging line, the umpires referred to as huge. And when the bowlers then bowled nearer to the stumps, it allowed Rana to go for his pictures—large hits over lengthy on, lengthy-off and mid-wicket.
Rana was fortunate when the goal was slightly below 40, after his hit to lengthy-off towards Yadav was dropped by Thakare. Delhi additionally laboured within the closing stretch with wicketkeeper Anuj Rawat struggling to rotate the strike and lengthening shadows brought about some concern. But after the ultimate drinks break, Rawat struck three boundaries off Yadav and Rana hammered two sixes and a 4 off off-spinner Akshay Wakhare to seal the affair.
“We had lost the final against Vidarbha two seasons back. It was not that we had played badly then,” recalled Rana, who criticised Vidarbha fielders for time losing. Vidarbha skipper Faiz Fazal, who was on the helm on this 29-game unbeaten run, had no remorse for declaring in a single day. “It is just that they batted brilliantly.”
Vidarbha 179 and 330/Four declared. Delhi 163 and 348/4 (Nitish Rana 105 no, Kunal Chandela 75, Hiten Dalal 82). Delhi received by 6 wickets. Points: Delhi 6. Vidarbha 0.
Gujarat 281 and 167. Punjab 229 and 109 all out (Gurkeerat 34; Nagwaswalla 5/50). Gujarat received by 110 runs. Points: Gujarat 6, Punjab 0.
Uttar Pradesh 625/Eight declared. Mumbai 688/7 (Sarfaraz Khan 301*; Siddesh Lad 98; Ankit Rajpoot 3/133). Match drawn. Mumbai Three factors, UP 1.
Himachal 496. Baroda 150/2 (Vishnu Solanki 85*; Vaibhav Arora 1/42). Match drawn. Himachal 1, Baroda 1.
Saurashtra 344 and 256/9 (Harvik Desai 115, Cheteshwar Pujara 69; Gourav Yadav 4/65). Madhya Pradesh
280 and 223/9. Match drawn.