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VCA NEWS: Gallant fightback by Vidarbha not enough

t was so near, yet so far as Vidarbha’s gallant fight back in the second innings ended shortly after the lunch break on the fifth and final day of the Ranji Trophy final versus Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.

Chasing a mammoth 538 runs to win the trophy, Vidarbha resumed their second innings on 248/5 with skipper Akshay Wadkar and Harsh Dubey at the crease. The duo displayed a clean and calm approach and defied the experienced Mumbai attack in the entire two-and-a-half-hour first session, adding 85 runs in 33 overs to take Vidarbha's score to 333/5.

Wadkar, who was unbeaten on 92 at the lunch break, duly reached his century off 195 balls with 9 fours and a six, shortly after resumption, and with Dubey too logging a half-century (65) at the other end, there was a glimmer of hope.

However, with 185 runs still needed, Wadkar fell LBW to Tanush Kotian, signaling the end of the pair’s dogged resistance. Even a review failed to overturn the umpire’s decision, as Wadkar walked back for a heroic 102.

The end came soon after as Vidarbha’s lower order caved and they were all out for 368, leaving Mumbai victors by 169 runs.

In the end, it was Vidarbha’s first-innings collapse, which handed Mumbai a 119-run lead, proved too costly. Vidarbha captain Wadkar, referring to the first innings, said after the match: “You get an innings like this in a campaign and sadly it came in the final. Our batting was clicking through the season but in a big game, we had to ensure we bat well. We bowled Mumbai out for 224 and we had a chance to get a big score, but Mumbai bowled well, (Dhawal) Kulkarni bowled well. Our openers and top-order got out early before the ball could settle, and it is always tough to come back from there to put up a good score.”

However, to their credit, Vidarbha batters showed great resilience and made Mumbai toil for almost 135 overs before the hosts could lay their hands on the trophy for the 42nd time. Almost every Vidarbha batter got into the act with the likes of Atharva Taide (32), Dhruv Shorey (28), Aman Mokhade (32) and Karun Nair (74) leading the way. Nair finished with a tally of 690 runs, while Wadkar had 637.

Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane lauded Vidarbha’s efforts at the post-match presentation. “Before speaking about my team, I want to talk about Vidarbha's efforts --- the way they played, the way they fought. It is not easy when chasing 538, and it is very easy to give up. But they didn't give up. The way they've been playing the last 7-8 years, it's really good to see them fight back,” Rahane said.


Toss: Vidarbha, elected to bowl first

Mumbai 1st innings 224 all out in 64.3 overs (Shardul Thakur 75, Prithvi Shaw 46, Bhupen Lalwani 37; Yash Thakur 3/54, Harsh Dubey 3/62, Umesh Yadav 2/43)

Vidarbha 1st innings 105 all out in 45.3 overs (Yash Rathod 27, Atharva Taide 23; Dhawal Kulkarni 3/15, Shams Mulani 3/32, Tanush Kotian 3/7)

Mumbai 2nd innings 418 all out in 130.2 overs (Musheer Khan 136, Shreyas Iyer 95, Ajinkya Rahane 73, Shams Mulani 50 not out; Harsh Dubey 5/144, Yash Thakur 3/79)

Vidarbha 2nd innings 368 all out in 134.3 overs (Atharva Taide 32, Dhruv Shorey 28, Aman Mokhade 32, Karun Nair 74, Akshay Wadkar 102, Harsh Dubey 65; Tanush Kotian 4/95, Musheer Khan 2/48, Tushar Deshpande 2/53)
Result: Mumbai won by 169 runs


Beat Services by 7 wickets
Beat Manipur by an innings and 90 runs
Lost to Saurashtra by 238 runs
Beat Jharkhand by 308 runs
Drew with Rajasthan after conceding 1st innings lead
Beat Maharashtra by 10 wickets
Beat Haryana by 115 runs

Beat Karnataka by 127 runs

Beat Madhya Pradesh by 62 runs

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