Irani Cup: Wasim Jaffer, Rajneesh Gurbani steer Vidarbha to maiden title win

Brunilde Fioravanti
Marzo 19, 2018

The team gelled well together and started the Ranji Trophy season with an innings win over mighty Punjab.

The first innings lead was enough for Vidarbha to corner glory.Sandwiched between the Ranji Trophy and the Irani Cup triumphs, was the Cooch Behar Trophy that was won by the Under-19 colts to make it three in three months. They had won the first ever BCCI tournament by winning the Vijay Merchant Trophy in Indore previous year. They trailed by 564 runs when the action resumed on the day.

Vidarbha opted to bat again and scored 79 before their skipper chose to call back the players.

The match was nearly dead when Vidarbha registered the huge total, thanks to veteran Wasim Jaffer (286), Apoorv Wankhade (157 not out) and Ganesh Satish (120). The match ended in a draw but the Ranji Champions were crowned as the winners based on their higher first innings total. Vidarbha's success story at the national level was first scripted by the Under-16 boys.

Without an outright result not even in the realms of his imagination, Faiz Fazal, the Vidarbha skipper, opted to rest his bowlers. Jaffer top scored with a marathon knock of 286 (431) with 34 fours and a six. The three centurions helped their side post a huge total of 800/7 before declaring in the first innings. Umesh Yadav, at the other end, dismissed the in-form Mayank Agarwal (11).

Hanuma Vihari (81 batting) and Jayant Yadav (62 batting) saved the blushes for Rest of India with an unbeaten 138-run stand for the seventh wicket.

ROI bundled out for 390 with Rajneesh Gurbani picking up 4/70 with the ball.

Vidarbha made a decision to bat in the second innings and reached 79/0, with openers Akshay Wadkar (50 not out) and R. Sanjay (27 not out), extending RoI's misery before the match was declared a draw. Jayant played an uppish drive off left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate off the first ball of the morning but was fortunate that it went wide of the man at short cover. The innings was called off by their skipper when Wadkar reached his fifty.

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