Tamil Nadu v Rajasthan, Ranji final, Chennai, 2nd day January 20, 2012

How to identify the Ranji winner

With Rajasthan losing just two wickets in as many days, and a pitch loaded with runs, the Ranji final has all the makings of a high-scoring draw. In the scenario where Tamil Nadu fail to finish their first innings within the stipulated five days, then the winner would be determined by comparing the run rates. But for that, Tamil Nadu will need to bat at least 30 overs.

Also, in case Rajasthan carry on to bat the entire five days or Tamil Nadu fail to bat 30 overs, then as per the prevailing rules, both teams will be declared as joint winners.

Incidentally, the 1981-82 final between Delhi and Karnataka, played in Delhi, was extended to the sixth day, to enable the hosts to gain a first-innings lead.

GR Viswanath, the Karnataka captain, elected to bat, a decision that proved appropriate as the visitors went on to amass 705. In reply Delhi could not gain the lead even at the end of the final day's play. But in an unprecedented move, play was extended to the sixth day, and a little before tea, Delhi, under Mohinder Amarnath, scored 707 for 8. By virtue of their first-innings lead, Delhi emerged winners on March 29, 1982, the extra day.

In another peculiar incident, 1989-90 final between Bengal and Delhi was played on March 23-28, 1990 (26th was a rest day). Delhi won the toss and elected to bat, scoring 278. Bengal replied with 216 for 4 and the match ended in a draw, without either side gaining a first-innings lead. Under the rules prevailing then, Bengal with a quotient of 54.00 (runs scored divided by number of wickets lost) were declared winners over Delhi who had the quotient of 27.80 in the incomplete final.

Courtesy Sudhir Vaidya, first-class statistician

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo