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Kaif & Co create history

UTTAR PRADESH wrote a golden chapter in the 71- year-old Ranji Trophy history on Thursday when Team India member and UP skipper Mohd Kaif received the glittering Ranji Trophy in presence of a huge gathering. Much before the finish of the match Kaif had himself prompted the crowd and the team members, sitting on the benches to start the celebration, which started in the right ernest as soon as Suresh Raina bowled the fifth mandatory over of the Bengal?s second innings at the KD Singh Babu stadium.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 01:37 IST

UTTAR PRADESH wrote a golden chapter in the 71- year-old Ranji Trophy history on Thursday when Team India member and UP skipper Mohd Kaif received the glittering Ranji Trophy in presence of a huge gathering.

Much before the finish of the match Kaif had himself prompted the crowd and the team members, sitting on the benches to start the celebration, which started in the right ernest as soon as Suresh Raina bowled the fifth mandatory over of the Bengal’s second innings at the KD Singh Babu stadium. UP were declared the winners on the basis of their first innings lead. UP scored 387 in the first innings and 342 in the second. Bengal on the other hand fell short by 14 runs in the first inning and were left with the Herculean task of scoring 357 in 41 overs in the second inning.

The crowd, including players, officials and the cricket fans and a horde of electronic and print media people, rushed to the ground in jubilation. Obviously, the Kaif & Co had done UP proud—the biggest-ever achievement for the State in Indian cricket history.

On the contrary, Bengal skipper Deep Dasgupta along with fellow unbeaten batsman Arindam Das moved out of the ground in sheer frustration. Missing of chances in the match and the frustration of losing a golden opportunity were writ large on the faces of the Bengal players, team coach Paras Mahambrey and manager Sameer Das Gupta, who didn’t even ‘console’ the skipper at the boundary line when it was all over.

Besides Kaif, special victory smiles danced on the faces of former captain Gyanendra Pandey, Jyoti Yadav, Ashish Winston Zaidi and Rizwan Shamshad. All were part of the UP team, which played their last final in 1997-98. “It’s the biggest-ever moment in my 18-year career,” said a beaming Zaidi, adding. “I was waiting for this occasion since I started playing cricket for UP.” “I am happy that we won the prestigious title. I don’t have words to express my feelings on this occasion,” said Rizwan Shamshad.

After a brief celebration with champagne at the ground, Kaif and his men straight away went to the visiting Bengal team players’ dressing room, a great gesture on the part of the hosts.

Former UP cricketer and Kaif’s father Mohd Tarif was the first whom Kaif hugged and got blessed, besides exchanging greetings with his two elder brothers Mohd Asif and Mohd Saif. “I am happy that my son has done it finally for our State,” an elated Tarif said later. Team coach Rajendra Singh Hans and manager Gopal Sharma along with Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association officials, including its secretary Rajiv Shukla, Prem Dhar Pathak, Shoiab Ahmed etc. also joined the celebration.

First Published: Feb 03, 2006 01:37 IST