Madhya Pradesh clinched their first ever Ranji Trophy title, defeating 41-time champions Mumbai in the final at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on Sunday by six wickets.
Madhya Pradesh chased down 108 in the fourth innings for the fall of four wickets to lift the coveted trophy for the first time in their history.
Needing a miracle on the final day to extend their record of most titles in India’s premier domestic red-ball tournament, Mumbai started the day looking for quick runs. With MP enjoying a 162-run first-innings lead, Mumbai needed an outright win.
But Mumbai managed to post just 269 runs on the board in the second innings and led Madhya Pradesh by 107 runs as lunch was taken on the final day. Suved Parkar had scored a half century while the red-hot Sarfaraz Khan scored 45. But Kumar Karthikeya’s 4-for ensured Mumbai’s quest for quick runs didn’t yield a big total.
MP had to then bat out two sessions or score 108 runs to clinch the title. Mumbai had the improbable task of bowling MP out within two sessions but had a good start by dismissing first-innings centurion Yash Dubey for 1 as Dhaval Kulkarni struck in the second over.
Himanshu Mantri and Shubham Sharma then steadied the innings for MP. Shams Mulani picked up a couple of wickets to make things slightly interesting. But another centurion from the first innings, Rajat Patidar, joined Shubham and took the Chandrakant Pandit-coached side close to the finish line. Shubham was dismissed for 30, as he looked to finish with a flourish, with Mulani taking a third wicket.
But Aditya Shrivastava, the MP captain, joined Patidar in the middle and made sure there was no late drama. The latter’s runs were cheered with chants of ‘RCB, RCB’ by the Bengaluru faithful. And fittingly, it was Patidar who hit the winning runs and remained unbeaten on 30.
Madhya Pradesh now becomes the fourth first-time winner of the Ranji Trophy in the last five seasons - joining Gujarat, Vidarbha (two-time winners now) and Saurashtra.
Shubham Sharma, MP’s opener, was player of the match for his century in the first innings and steady knock in the second. Mumbai’s Sarfaraz Khan, who scored more than 900 runs for his side this season.
Here’s a look at the match summary:
It was further a special day for legendary coach Pandit, who has now overseen Ranji Trophy title triumphs with Mumbai, Vidarbha and MP. Post match, he spoke to the broadcasters about the emotions of winning the title as a coach 23 years after missing out as the MP captain against Karnataka at this very venue.
Full scorecard of the match here.