Ashwin, Chawla bowl Rest of India to huge victory
Rest of India 668 (Mukund 161, Parthiv 125, Kulkarni 5-148) and 387 for 3 dec (Yuvraj 204*, Mukund 63, Badrinath 61) beat Mumbai 274 (Jaffer 71, Unadkat 4-41, Chawla 3-70) and 420 (Rahane 191, Jaffer 88, Ashwin 5-106, Chawla 4-113) by 361 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
R Ashwin and Piyush Chawla shared nine wickets to bowl Rest of India to a crushing 361-run win against Mumbai on the final day of the Irani Cup tie in Jaipur. Ajinkya Rahane's aggressive 191 went in vain as the Ranji champions were bowled out for 420 in the penultimate over. Rest of India, who were already assured of the title after securing the first-innings lead, won the tournament for the fifth straight year.
The spinners came into the game after Wasim Jaffer's run-out for 88. Ashwin bowled a tight line throughout, getting some turn, and lots of bounce, for his eighth first-class five-wicket haul. Chawla got some sharp turn, and mixed googlies with legbreaks to pick the remaining four.
Jaffer, along with Rahane, had begun confidently in the morning. Both were positive in their approach, launching into a flurry of boundaries, as 67 runs came in 13.4 overs. Jaffer was pleasing as ever to watch, driving with minimum effort down the ground. Mumbai had raced to 146 when Shikhar Dhawan's direct hit caught Jaffer short of his ground while attempting a quick single. That was the opening Rest of India needed and thereafter the spinners barged in.
Two overs later, Ashwin almost had Rohit Sharma holing out to mid-on, but Umesh Yadav dropped the chance as it went over his head. Rohit seemed to have settled in well when he was given out leg before to Ashwin, though struck outside the line of off stump while looking to sweep.
Ashwin then got one to turn across Abhishek Nayar's defensive push and hit him plumb in front. Rahane, meanwhile, was in the zone, playing with purpose and hitting fours at will. A pull off Chawla to the midwicket boundary brought up his 14th first-class century.
Ashwin continued to strike, trapping Omkar Khanvilkar leg before with the second ball after lunch, as the batsman pushed outside the line. Ramesh Powar then buckled down to support Rahane, who continued to attack. He was dropped twice after passing 150, once at mid-on off Abhimanyu Mithun and then by Yuvraj Singh at slip off Ashwin, both tough chances. Rahane hit 30 fours and as long as he was there, the draw seemed the favoured result.
At 366 for 4 with less than thirty overs to go, Powar threw it away, dancing down the track to Chawla and getting bowled off the inside edge. Three overs later, Rahane hit Ashwin straight to midwicket to fall nine short of a double century.
In the fourth over after tea, Ashwin picked up his fifth wicket, getting one to turn and bounce sharply past Sushant Marathe, who edged it to slip. Chawla cleaned up Ajit Agarkar in the next over with a quick googly, and Mumbai were going down in quick time.
However, Dhawal Kulkarni and Iqbal Abdulla resisted as they had done in the first innings before Chawla got Abdulla to edge to slip after 12 overs of defiance. With time running out, he then got Kulkarni to guide one to gully, off the first ball of the penultimate over, to set off celebrations among the Rest of India players.
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo