Baroda v Rajasthan, Ranji Trophy final, Vadodara, 5th day January 15, 2011

Rajasthan lift first Ranji Trophy


Rajasthan 394 (Bist 77, Kanitkar 61, Bhatt 5-103) and 341 (Menaria 101, Parida 89, Vahora 4-94) drew with Baroda 361 (Pinal 77, Chahar 4-79) and 28 for 4 (Chahar 3-15)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rajasthan became the newest team to etch their name on the Ranji Trophy, shutting Baroda out after taking the first-innings lead with a clinical display that didn't give an inch to the hosts on the final day. It capped an improbable season for Rajasthan, who rose from being last year's bottom-placed team in the Plate League to become Ranji champions in their ninth appearance in the final. Rajasthan's strength this season has been their ability to bat big, and today it was the lower order that batted Baroda into helpless disappointment.

For Baroda to have had a sniff, they needed to dismiss Rajasthan quickly. They eventually did bowl them out, but not before the visitors' lower order had frustrated them for almost two sessions. Though Ashok Menaria - who went soon after scoring his third century in three knockout games - and Rashmi Parida fell within the first hour, the tail defended stoutly in the company of wicketkeeper Rohit Jhalani, who surprisingly came in at No. 11. Each run was loudly cheered by the Rajasthan supporters and association officials, and as the lead grew, Baroda's shoulders drooped.

The Baroda bowlers were already tired after having spent more than 200 overs on the field over four days, and though they toiled away, the game was slowly slipping from their grasp. Murtuja Vahora steamed in, Bhargav Bhatt kept going on for 45 overs, but the others were steady at best. The bowlers' disappointment gave way to angry stares as half-chances went by the close-in fielders, and the last-wicket partnership between Jhalani and Pankaj Singh comprehensively deflated them. Jhalani and Pankaj added 59 in 153 deliveries, but it was the prolonged ease with which they milked the bowling that highlighted Rajasthan's domination.

When Pankaj was finally bowled by debutant Abhijit Karambelkar, the hosts needed an impossible 375 in 29 overs. Rajasthan were not done yet though, and Pankaj and Deepak Chahar gave Baroda a torrid time, striking thrice in successive overs to leave them reeling at 21 for 3. Chahar showcased his prodigious ability to swing the ball, getting a delivery to move away after angling it on leg stump, and Swapnil Singh could only edge it to a diving Aakash Chopra at second slip.

The teams decided to call off proceedings after 14 overs in the Baroda innings, but not before Pankaj and Chahar had once again displayed their worth as a strike pair, ending the tournament with 83 victims. There was no shame in defeat for Baroda, for Rajasthan were clearly the stronger and more experienced side. They would however, look back at the two dropped chances yesterday as the moment when they let the Ranji Trophy slip out of their hands, and Rajasthan never gave them a second look at it. The eventual champions knew they were the better team, but they also proved it on the big stage.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • P Subramani on January 16, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Chahar has a good future if he can increase his pace to around 135 kmph. This may happen as he grows up -- he is just 18-- and put some muscle in his frame. What is important is that he has the natural big-swinging ability which Manoj Prabhakar had. I am sure this young man can make it because he is controlled by his father who is a serviceman. Good luck to him. Congratulations to Rajasthan for having won the Ranji Trophy.

  • Dummy4 on January 16, 2011, 2:28 GMT

    This is a great achievement by Rajasthan.The factors responsible for this historic victory is determination,discipline and the correct measures taken by the Secretary R.C.A Mr.Sanjay Dixit in selection procedures.

  • Dummy4 on January 15, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    good that Baroda lost, they tried in all wrong ways to win.....

  • Dummy4 on January 15, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    Congrats to Team Rajasthan......Indeed a great performance.....Kudos to Kanitkar, Akash Chopra & Parida. Chahar seems to be bright prospect for future......after all hard work is paying now. Thanks to RCA officials for showing the faith in Hired Professional Cricketers.

  • Dummy4 on January 15, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    For the past 5 days instead of India's game I have taken my keen interest in Rajasthan's match.. coz this is the place to where I belong... coz this is the place I missed a lot... when I have left it.. coz this this is the place for which Ive wished a lot.. kudos to team RAJASTHAN... for ur efforts after being promoted to Elite group form Plate group.. Uve beacome Ranji champions.. I appreciate u a lot... :)

  • P on January 15, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    fantastic performance, mix of experienced players let go by their home states plus local talent and a will to win. Chahar is an exciting prospect, one just hope he is guided better than Sreesanth and Ishant were. Akaash chopra is a old war-horse who just won't fade away, hats off to his persistence and self-belief. he is also a thinking cricketer, someday hope to see him as a coach of Indian U-19 to start with,

  • Pradeep on January 15, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    Hope we get to read 'Beyond the Blues'- Part II. My congratulations to Rajasthan and Aakash Chopra for doing it again, this time with Rajasthan. Excited to see some young talent shining through from both teams. Hope they only go up from here.... despite IPL.

  • Dummy4 on January 15, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    After so many years some cheers for rajasthani boys...hape they carried it out in future also..great capaincy by kanitkar..akash chopra shown his worth and menaria and chahar are superb...

  • Shantanu on January 15, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    Congratulations to Rajasthan. The win has a lot of similarity to UP's win against Bengal in Ranji final a few years back. Hopefully home grown players like Deepak Chahar, Pankaj Singh & Menaria would get at least India A look. Finally Central Zone teams are actually winning Ranji Trophy some what regularly.

  • varun on January 15, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    amazing performance.. We need more recognition for such great cricket in the domestic cricket than just a passing mention in the media. Guess some BCCI awards etc would do the trick..

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