By:- Hemant Gaur
Well the 2018 brings the joyous moment to the players of Vidarbha Cricket Team who claimed its maiden Ranji Trophy after beating Delhi by nine wickets in the final of India’s premier domestic tournament “Ranji Trophy” in Holkar Stadium in Indore on Monday.
As the team chasing a target of measly 29, Vidarbha completed the task with loss of skipper Faiz Fazal’s wicket. Opting to field, Vidarbha bowled out Delhi for 295 in the first innings with Rajneesh Gurbani picking up six wickets.
In reply, Vidarbha made a mammoth score of 547 all out, as Akshay Wadkar struck his maiden century in first-class cricket.
Overnight 528 for seven with wicketkeeper Wadkar unbeaten on 133, Delhi quickly picked up the remaining three wickets in the morning.
Young pacer Navdeep Saini was the most successful bowler for Delhi, returning figures of 5 for 135 after bowling a marathon 36.3 overs.
Their coach Chandrakant Pandit was lifted up on the shoulders by his players right beside the pitch. Pandit’s contribution in transforming this Vidarbha team is well known now. But bringing him to coach Vidarbha was the vision of a man years ago.
Wasim Jaffer who praises Pandit said, Pandit who stayed on the academy premises, would have spent 10 to 12 hours everyday working on the team through the season. “Every day the support staff had a meeting, every training day Pandit would work on the boys he brought the boys out of the comfort zone at the start of the season, and continued toughening and motivating them,”
After the final, Pandit summarised his achievements. “Everybody likes to win the cup. But this win will not only change the team, but in Vidarbha, every 14-year and 16-year- old boy will probably stand up and raise his hand that he can also win. That kind of culture, I will be happy to achieve in Vidarbha.”