Mumbai down spirited Vidarbha, clinch Ranji Trophy for 42nd time

Dhawal Kulkarni
Dhawal Kulkarni leads Mumbai players off the field. Photo: X@BCCIDomestic

Mumbai: Domestic heavyweights Mumbai ended their eight-year barren run to lift a record-extending 42nd Ranji Trophy title on Thursday, beating a resolute Vidarbha by 169 runs on the fifth and final day of a thoroughly engrossing summit clash.

The fate of the final -- Mumbai's 48th in the 90 years of the tournament's history -- here at the iconic Wankhede Stadium was sealed when the hosts set a 538-run target for the visiting team.

Vidarbha captain Akshay Wadkar (102) and Harsh Dubey (65) kept Mumbai at bay for the entire first session after Vidarbha resumed on 248/5, needing another 290 runs to win. They were eventually bowled out for 368.

In a contest that ebbed and flowed, Mumbai came out as the winners after Vidarbha frustrated them for long periods of play in the last two days.

Wadkar not only led the fight for his side with his first century of the year while also crossing the 600-run mark this season. Dubey brought up only his second fifty of the first-class career.

Akshay Wadkar
Akshay Wadkar en route to his fighting hundred. Photo: PTI/Shashank Parade

Together, they forged the longest stand of the innings, consuming 255 balls in 194 minutes from day four until a little after the resumption of the second session on the final day.

Wadkar fell leg before to Tanush Kotian (4/95) -- and once the pair was broken, it all ended in a jiffy for the visitors who have now lost the Ranji Trophy final on the third instance after winning two titles.

Tushar Deshpande continued to employ the short ball to dismiss Dubey (65 off 128 balls, 5 x4s, 2x6s) and Aditya Sarwate who missed the majority of the game owing to a back spasm.

While Kotian cleaned up Yash Thakur (6) for his fourth wicket, Dhawal Kulkarni signed off from all forms of cricket with the final wicket of the game in the form of Umesh Yadav.

Brief scores: Mumbai: 224 and 418 bt Vidarbha 105 & 368 (Akshay Wadkar 102, Karun Nair 74; Tanush Kotian 4/95).

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