Parthiv Patel: Skipper defies odds to lead Gujarat to maiden Ranji Trophy title
Parthiv Patel-led Gujarat created history here at the Holkar Cricket Stadium on Saturday when they defeated Mumbai by five wickets to clinch their maiden Ranji Trophy title. (HIGHLIGHTS)
This was only their second appearance in a Ranji Trophy final.
Parthiv Patel led from the front with an exemplary knock of 143 runs that helped Gujarat scale the challenging 312-run target in 89.5 overs. Parthiv was well supported by Manprit Juneja (54) and Rujul Bhatt (27) as Gujarat joined the likes of Holkar, Delhi, Karnataka and Haryana as teams to have beaten Bombay/Mumbai in a Ranji Trophy final.
Mumbai began well, removing overnight batsman Priyank Panchal and Bhargav Merai early with just four runs added on the board. Samit Gohel (21) too didn’t last long and at 89 for three, the scales were tilted heavily in favour of Mumbai.
Manprit Juneja and Parthiv Patel then produced a rearguard action as the duo stitched a 116-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Parthiv was calmness personified as reached his half-century in just 75 deliveries, picking 11 boundaries in the process.
Both Patel and Juneja were starting to play aggressively. Juneja approached the umpires a few times with complaints of sledging by Mumbai players, but he never lost his concentration. He smashed paceman Balwinder Sandhu for two consecutive boundaries and then took him on again in the 65th over to reach his half century. Even though he departed four runs later, he had done enough to dampen Mumbai’s morale.
Once he left, Rujul Bhatt stitched a 94-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Parthiv. The Gujarat skipper, who contributed 90 in the first innings, notched up his second century in the season and this helped the team achieve history.
Despite Parthiv’s century, Mumbai will have only themselves to blame for their first loss in a Ranji final since 1990-91. Prithvi Shaw dropped Samit Gohel in the fifth over of the day, and though he didn’t go on to score a big one, Gohel ensured he saw off the first hour for Gujarat.
A number of catches went through the slip cordon with Rujul Bhatt getting lucky thrice. Mumbai were shambolic in the field throughout the final, having dropped a few in the first innings as well. Tare too dropped one that hit the helmet and cost them five runs in penalties. It simply wasn’t Mumbai’s day and though their bowlers stuck to a plan, their fielders let them down.