on Saturday claimed its maiden Ranji Trophy
title when it beat Mumbai by 5 wickets in the final tie. In doing so, it became the 17th side in the history of domestic cricket
to win the tournament, and fifth – after Holkar, Delhi, Karnataka and Haryana – to win the title by defeating Bombay/Mumbai in the final match.
Riding on a massive 143-run innings by skipper Parthiv Patel, Gujarat
successfully chased the target of 312 runs set by Mumbai, just before tea on the final day of the match. Mumbai, which has held the Ranji title 41 times in the past, ended up as the runner-up in the tournament for the fifth time. The previous occasion when Mumbai had stood second was in 1990-91, when it had lost to Haryana in the final match by 2 runs.
With its successful chase of 312 runs, Gujarat
also set a new record for the highest successful final-match run chase in the 83-year history of the tournament. This record had stood with Hyderabad since 1937-38, when it had chased a total of 310 runs in the Ranji final to beat Nawanagar.
Having started its chase on Friday evening, Gujarat
had a score of 47 for no loss at stumps on day 4. With 265 more runs needed on the final day, Gujarat
started on a cautious note on Saturday, but still lost three early wickets. However, an 116-run partnership between Manprit Juneja and Parthiv Patel
and for the fourth wicket eased the pressure and put their team on course for a victory. After Juneja, who was dismissed at 54, Rujul Bhatt provided a firm support to his skipper. The 94-run partnership between the two for the fifth wicket sealed the deal for Gujarat.
Patel, who had played carefully early on in his innings, loosened up and displayed some aggressive strokeplay as the innings progressed. After getting his ton on Saturday, he went for big strokes and was dismissed at 143 off 196 balls when he got a leading edge and was caught. Gujarat
was only 12 runs short of the target at this point. Patel was declared man of the match for his superb innings.
Earlier, responding to Mumbai’s 228, Gujarat
had scored 328 in the first innings to take a 100-run lead. In the second innings, Mumbai had made a handsome score of 411 runs to set a target of 312 runs.