Mumbai 320 and 294 beat Bengal 143 and 339 (Tiwary 94, Ganguly 90, Zaheer 4-119) by 132 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out


Zaheer Khan ended with nine wickets for the match, and was easily the player who made the most difference. © Getty Images
Mumbai raced to their 37th Ranji Trophy title in fine style, beating Bengal by 132 runs shortly after tea on the fourth day. Magnificent innings from Manoj Tiwary and Sourav Ganguly kept Bengal in the hunt, but in the end the combined firepower of Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar proved too much to resist, as the last six wickets fell for the addition of only five runs and Bengal folded for 339.
While Ganguly was at the crease there was room for the faithful to hope that Bengal might pull off something sensational, but when he fell - again to Zaheer - pulling and only managing to lob a high catch to Ramesh Powar at midwicket, Bengal had lost their prize wicket with 338 on the board. Ganguly was visibly upset with himself when he lost his wicket, but can take joy from the 90 that he made.
The end came when Ashok Dinda attempted to heave Zaheer over the ropes and holed out to Abhishek Nair at midwicket. The 19-strong Mumbai squad rushed as one to the pitch, plucking out stumps for souvenirs and celebrating. Zaheer ended with nine wickets for the match, and was easily the player who made the most difference.
Tiwary's bold strokeplay had Mumbai running for cover, and hunting leather, for the best part of the first two sessions. On the third day it was Deep Dasgupta who led from the front, ducking, weaving, dabbing and defending, keeping Agarkar and Zaheer at bay. When the fourth day dawned, with Bengal on 98 for 2, it was clear that the initial plan was to just occupy the crease, even if it meant that no runs came. Both Dasgupta, and the usually aggressive Tiwary, left alone more than they played at, and forced the bowlers to bowl to them.
To Bengal's credit, they battled hard for the best part of the day, making Mumbai work hard for their wickets. Tiwary was terrific in his shot selection, committing wholeheartedly when he played the big shots and yet not committing early to front or back foot. With the pitch having eased out considerably, Zaheer found the going tough, and was operating below full pace. He slanted the ball away from the right-handers, and occasionally caused a bit of hesitation when he got his line right, but the absence of inswing vastly reduced his wicket-taking options.
Tiwary sensed that Zaheer was flagging, and took him on. The shot of the day being a clean hit over mid-off that sailed the distance and went for six. In the course of his innings, Tiwary became the highest run-getter in a single season for Bengal. Arun Lal held the record, but Tiwary already has 776 and looks far from finished.
The one spot of joy for Mumbai in an otherwise fruitless morning came when Dasgupta fell, against the run of play. A momentary lapse in concentration made Dasgupta chase a delivery outside the off stump, and this only resulted in a nick for Vinayak Samant to pouch behind the stumps. Once again Wilkin Mota had struck, and Dasgupta was gone for a well made 57.
To Bengal's credit, they battled hard for the best part of the day, making Mumbai work hard for their wickets. Tiwary was terrific in his shot selection, committing wholeheartedly when he played the big shots and yet not committing early to front or back foot.
Ganguly walked out to the middle with plenty to do, and fortunately for Bengal was in good nick. He was fluent from the word go, and played some pleasing shots, especially square of the wicket on the off side. Both Zaheer and Agarkar were handled easily as Ganguly timed the ball away in the arc between point and cover, picking up boundaries early on in his innings.
On a pitch that was affording turn Ramesh Powar was ineffective, and Ganguly was able to easily leave the ball alone to begin with, and then pick off singles at will, even occasionally lofting the ball for plenty. In the company of Rohan Gavaskar, who unfurled an array of strokes on both sides of the wicket, Ganguly kept Bengal well on target for an amazing win. Gavaskar was especially severe on Zaheer, who sprayed the ball around a bit and made it hard for Amol Muzumdar to set fields. But, when Agarkar got Gavaskar to nibble at one outside off, and had him caught behind, Mumbai had the foot in the door that they needed.
Bengal went from a strong 270 for 3 to 335 for 7 by tea, and hopes of a grand win fast receded. After Gavaskar was dismissed Zaheer snaffled two quick wickets, bowling Laxmi Ratan Shukla for a duck and following it up by trapping Sourashish Lahiri in front of the stumps. And soon after, the wheels came off, giving Mumbai yet another win in the premier domestic competition.

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo