Vidarbha, on Thursday, became just the sixth team in the history of Ranji Trophy to win back-to-back titles. They defeated Saurashtra by 78 runs in the the title-decider to lift the crown for the second time in as many years. Chasing 206, Saurashtra were all out for just 127 despite having Cheteshwar Pujara in their ranks. Aditya Sarwate starred with the ball for Vidarbha, picking up 11 wickets in the game including 6 for 59 in the second innings.
In the first innings, Vidarbha rode on lower-order batsman Akshay Karnewar‘s unbeaten 73 to score 312. At one stage, Vidarbha, after electing to bat were tottering at 139/6. However, the fight from the lower-order helped them cross the 300-run mark.
In reply, Saurashtra fell short of Vidarbha’s first innings total by five runs with opener Snell Patel scoring 102, even as Sarwate claimed 5/98. Fellow spinner Akshay Wakhare scalped 4/80. For Saurashta, skipper Jaydev Unadkat made 46, batting at No.10.
In the second innings too, Vidarbha’s top-order failed as they were all out for 200. Sarwate played a key role with the bat, top-scoring with 49. Sarwate then ran through Saurashtra’s lineup with the bat, helping Vidarbha defend their title.
Following the win, the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) announced a cash reward of ₹3 crore for its victorious Ranji Trophy squad.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) gives ₹2 crore (as prize money) and we (VCA) will be giving ₹3 crore additionally (to the team). So, the total purse will be ₹5 crore,” VCA President Anand Jaiswal told PTI.
Jaiswal also said that the association has “postponed” the event to celebrate the Ranji Trophy success, due to the Irani Trophy game. The game will be played in Pune from February 12.
“We will fix a date for a felicitation ceremony and the prize money will be given to the players during the event,” the VCA chief stated.