With Bengal chasing their first Ranji Trophy title in three decades, the match was hanging in balance on day five against Saurashtra.
Bengal had just lost the wicket of well-set Anustup Majumdar. Jayadev Unadkat, the Saurashtra captain, had picked up his first wicket of the final: after 65 wickets before this match, this one meant a lot to him. He was a relieved man. It was already a game-changing over.
And then Bengal’s Akash Deep decided to make things worse for his side.
The second ball he faced, he was beaten outside off-stump by a length delivery. No harm done there, though. These things happen. The edge was missed, the danger was averted. His back-foot, however, was outside the crease and the Saurashtra keeper Avi Barot saw that and had a shy at the stumps.
But the direct hit was missed. Maybe now Akash Deep could stop admiring his follow-through and get back inside the crease?
You would think so, but no.
Akash Deep had to pay the price for poor game awareness. Unadkat picked up the ball, while still in disbelief that the runout was missed, and then realised there is another chance. This time the direct hit was good and the batsman was still looking down on his back-foot that was on the line.
Watch the dismissal here:
Here are some of the reactions to the dismissal:
Soon after, Bengal were bowled out for 381 and Saurashtra got the first-innings lead that decided the Ranji Trophy final in their favour. Unadkat’s lion-hearted spell when it mattered the most against Bengal, led Saurashtra to their maiden Ranji Trophy triumph a year after stumbling at the last hurdle.
The win was achieved on the basis of the first-innings lead. Unadkat, who had single-handily taken Saurashtra into the final with a seven-wicket haul against Gujarat on the final day of their semifinal, rose to the occasion yet again to script a historic victory.