Sarwate inspires Vidarbha to 2nd successive Ranji Trophy title

Nagpur, Feb 7 (IANS) Left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate starred with the ball to help defending champions Vidarbha retain their Ranji Trophy title by thrashing Saurashtra by 78 runs in the summit clash at the VCA Stadium here on Thursday.

Chasing a target of 206, Saurashtra folded up for 127, with Sarwate emerging the wrecker-in-chief, bagging six wickets in his 24 overs in the second innings. He had picked up 5/98 in the first innings.

Needing five wickets on the final day to clinch the title second time in a row, Sarwate, who finished with six wickets in the final innings, guided his team to the domestic title.

The left-armer emerged the hero of the 85th Ranji title clash after he scalped 11 wickets and scored 49 vital runs but more importantly negated the threat of India Test star Cheteshwar Pujara, dismissing him in both innings.

Off-spinner Akshay Wakhare provided the perfect support, claiming seven wickets in the match.

Vidarbha started the day on a positive note as, in the second over of the day, Sarwate dismissed Kamlesh Makvana (14) who along with Vishvaraj Jadeja forged a 33-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Wakhare then dismissed Prerak Mankad (2) in the very next over and kept the pressure on with his tight line and length.

Needing 115 runs more with three wickets remaining, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (17 runs in 56 balls) supported Vishvaraj Jadeja (52 runs in 137 balls) handsomely but Sarwate again came into the picture and picked up the set batsman. Vishvraj was adjudged leg before wicket.

After that, no other lower-order batsmen fought as skipper Jaydev Unadkat (7) then got dismissed and after couple of overs, Jadeja was sent packing by Wakhare.

With this result, Saurashtra have now lost all the three Ranji Trophy summit clashes that they have played so far.

Brief Scores: Vidarbha: 312 and 200 beat Saurashtra: 307 and 127 all out in 58.4 overs (Vishvaraj Jadeja 52; Aditya Sarwate 6/59) by 78 runs.

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