TN v Rajasthan, Ranji Trophy final, Chennai, 5th day January 23, 2012

All-round Rajasthan cruise to title


Rajasthan 621 (Saxena 257, Chopra 94, Srinivas 4-192,) & 204 for 5 dec (Bist 92, Prasanna 3-31) drew with Tamil Nadu 295 (Karthik 150, Rituraj 4-76) & 8 for 2 (Gajendra 2-5). Rajasthan won on the first-innings lead
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rajasthan became only the fifth team to win the Ranji Trophy in successive seasons, as they beat Tamil Nadu on the first-innings lead in Chennai. The defending champions had effectively won the match on the penultimate day, when they had bowled out Tamil Nadu to gain a 326-run lead. Having opted to bat again, the visitors extended the lead to 530 runs. Then to rub further salt on Tamil Nadu's wounds, Gajendra Singh trapped Yo Mahesh and Abhinav Mukund leg before in successive overs, before both teams decided to call off the match before the mandatory overs started with no outright result possible.

On Sunday, the main reason Rajasthan had not enforced the follow-on was to provide the pair of Vineet Saxena and Robin Bist the chance to get to 1000 runs in the season. Aakash Chopra did not show any inclination to stay out in the middle, at least on the evidence of his exit: he went for a pull shot from outside off, without getting behind the line of the delivery from J Kaushik. The bowler finished an easy catch after Chopra's top edge ballooned over his head.

Saxena, whose first-innings' marathon 907-minute 257 was the third-highest score this season, could add only three more runs to his total of 10 though. He was the second wicket to fall in the morning, after Chopra. He had started the innings 116 runs adrift of the landmark but was bowled trying to tap the ball away without moving his feet against a straight delivery from R Prasanna.

But Bist did not miss out - he became the 12th man in Ranji Trophy history to log 1000 runs in a calendar year. He reached the milestone by pushing a single to fine leg off Kaushik. He had already notched his second fifty of the match by hitting a nicely-timed cover drive of part-time slow bowler M Vijay. What Bist missed was his fifth century of the season, by eight runs, when he played a tired slog against Prasanna that was easily pouched by Mukund at midwicket. Still Bist, with four tons under his belt, finished the tournament with the most number of centuries.

In addition to having the top two run-makers this season, Rajasthan added one more feather to their cap when Pankaj Singh, who had taken two wickets in the Tamil Nadu innings, finished as the third-highest wicket-taker with 34 victims. Only TP Sudhindra (Madhya Pradesh, 40) and Ashok Dinda (Bengal, 37), were ahead of him.

As for the hosts, Tamil Nadu had to finish second to Rajasthan for the second straight year. Last year Rajasthan had denied the visitors a first-innings lead in the semi-final in Jaipur. This time it was much worse, as Tamil Nadu remained mute spectators all through the five days. Their biggest problem was the failure of their formidable top order, which showed no character or resilience barring the battling century from Dinesh Karthik.

The only plus point for the hosts from the final was the bowling of Aushik Srinivas, the 18-year-old left-arm spinner, who bowled a record number of overs comprising long, attacking spells that did not allow the batsmen to play their shots with freedom.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 26, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    i happy that TN lost the final. chika's all tactic failed. he kept all the TN team for domestic games and dint send them to australia. And if there wouldn't had been ranji match na than he would have certainly selected mukund, vijay, karthik for australia... Thank god this dint happend.. Chika stop being bias and select players according to they ability...

  • sachin on January 24, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    I agree with the commenters saying that the rules of the domestic competitions need to be changed to bring about a positive attitude, the rules as they are right now only elicit negative batting & bowling & cricket in general. And the cup should only be given to the teams WINNING the final, may be they should consider a "timeless" final to enforce a result but things need to changed to groom positiivity & intent in the Indian domestic structure & forthcoming players.

  • Chenna Krishna on January 24, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    hello ravo11 , we are not supporting TN, we want all teams should play for win, and when match drawn team must get points equally, in this way all teams play for win, it will helps for cricket.

  • Gunasekaran on January 24, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Absolutely negative cricket from Rajasthan. They never showed any intent to win this game. They don't deserve this Win. This is high time to think about timeless test.

  • Venkat on January 24, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    I dont know why cricinfo hates my honest comments. But I thought this match is precisely reflects the reason why our cricket is in shambles outside the subcon. The first innings lead should not be deciding basis for knock out games. Teams with maximum wins in league should go through in case of a draw. Also the pitches should not be made for highway driving but should have something in it for both batsmen and bowler from day 1.

  • Jayaesh on January 24, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    Well done Rajasthan team,however it was a success brought by players from other states,even Pankaj Singh is from U.P n Robin Bisht from Delhi ....true talent they have produced Is Ashok Menaria n Rituraj Singh .....i will judge there success by how there u-19 n u-22 teams are doing.Saxena well done to him but poor guy is not the faishonable cricketer either in terms of age or strokes to merit national selection.....with teams like Punjab,Delhi,Karnatka not there and players like Manish Pandey n A.Menaria injured it was anti-climactic for me...

  • Ravi on January 24, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    TN registered only 1 win in whole tournament where as Rajasthan registered 3. this clearly tells who deserve what .

  • Deependra on January 24, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Congrats to Rajasthan for winning the Ranji trophy again. Instead of whining about Rajasthan's attitude we should criticize the nature of the pitch and the rules to decide the winner. The winner should be decided by a outright win only in the finals. Tamilnadu batting lineup was so strong that Rajasthan has to put on a big score on the flat pitch.

  • Chenna Krishna on January 24, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    No one feell that Rajasthan won the trophy, winner can not be decided based on first innings lead, it is just match drawn, both teams honour trophy, Rajastan always kills the cricket, by palying laxy cricket.

  • Venkat on January 24, 2012, 3:59 GMT

    contd...even with the archaic rules of Ranji Trophy. The moment TN folded up for 295, Rthan had WON barring a massive upset in 2nd innings - an impossible task as TN was 350 runs behind with only 1 day left. Rthan should have gone for the Jugular and a outright win over TN. I am from TN but I dont care TN losing as long as the game is good and brings out the best in the players as well as the system. Instead all we got a a ridiculous bore of match which spooked me by just reading the news on paper. You can imagine the poor guys who would have made it to the ground to watch this ultimate torture. To clean up this mess in future, the autorities should stipulate that first innings lead should only give 1 point to the team finishing ahead whilst 5 points for the team that wins outright. For the semis and finals in case of a draw, the team with maximum league wins should go through. This will force teams to go for outright wins. Ofcourse we should do away with toll-highway type pitches.

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