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January 16, 2009
Mumbai 402 (Rohit 141, Nayar 99, Bhuvneshwar 5-78) and 367 (Samant 113, Rohit 108) beat Uttar Pradesh 245 (Shukla 99, Zaheer 7-54) and 281 (Bhuvneshwar 80, Kaif 72, Kulkarni 5-76) by 243 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out
Mumbai clinched their 38th Ranji Trophy title with about a session to spare on the final day, reaffirming their reputation as one of the most dominant domestic first-class sides - they have won over half the 75 editions of the tournament. They had all but sealed the result yesterday, with only the final rites to be completed on the last day. After having secured a 157-run first-innings lead, Mumbai had batted on and on to leave Uttar Pradesh so far behind that they couldn't even imagine making a comeback: they started the final day needing a virtually impossible 525 runs, but kept losing wickets regularly. This was the 42nd time Mumbai had made it to the Ranji Trophy final, and they have lost only four times.
There were token stumbles towards the end when Mumbai spilled two catches when just one wicket from securing the title. The stand between Amir Khan and Praveen Gupta delayed the inevitable for 10.2 overs. The tea break was delayed during that period, and then had to be taken after the last pair stood firm for more than half an hour. At 3.21pm Dhawal Kulkarni got Gupta to edge to captain Wasim Jaffer to finish the match. It was a fitting mode of dismissal to bring the title home for Mumbai: Jaffer was the leading run-scorer in the season, and with that wicket Kulkarni became the joint leading wicket-taker.
Kulkarni, who had been key to Mumbai's success in the league stages, took five wickets to reach 42 for the season and draw level with Saurashtra's Ravindra Jadeja. He started the day with the wicket of Shivakant Shukla, who guided the ball straight to Rohit Sharma at gully. He later got Suresh Raina, who went for a cut and edged to Sachin Tendulkar in the slips. Kulkarni came back for a second spell to wipe the tail off, taking the last three wickets to fall.
Mohammad Kaif and Bhuvneshwar Kumar prevented a complete humiliation, though. From 55 for 4, they added 112 for the fifth wicket. Both of them scored comfortable half-centuries, but missed their hundreds. Kaif fell for 72, holing out to Amol Mazumdar, the substitute fielder, off Ramesh Powar. That dismissal ensured even Muzumdar, a dedicated servant of Mumbai cricket over the years who was dropped for this match, made a contribution to the victory.
Bhuvneshwar, who had a great match with a five-for and 41 quick runs in the first innings, fell 20 short of a second-innings century when he was adjudged caught behind off Kulkarni. Replays indicated there might have been a gap between the bat and ball. The dismissal embodied the kind of luck UP had had over the last four days, with opposition edges falling in safe areas and umpiring decisions not going their way.
But more than their luck, UP had themselves to blame for their second loss in successive finals: they dropped four catches, missed two run-outs and a stumping. Rohit Sharma, in particular, cashed in on those chances, and became only the sixth man to score two centuries in a Ranji Trophy final.
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