Mumbai lifts Ranji title, beats Bengal
Mumbai again underline their supremacy as they register a comprehensive 132-run victory, reports Amol Karhadkar.Updated: Feb 05, 2007, 21:07 IST
Monday saw a thrilling end to the Ranji Trophy season, with Mumbai regaining their supremacy in domestic cricket with their 37th Ranji title.
Himachal Pradesh bagged the honours in the Plate League, beating Orissa in the final.
Ranadeb Bose and Robin Uthappa achieved the rare feats of taking more than 50 wickets and scoring more than 800 runs, respectively, in one Ranji Trophy season. Still more heartening was the fact that in the 2006-7 season, most teams maintained the change in their attitude from playing for an innings lead to going for an outright win.
Of the 52 matches played in the season, including the knockouts, 28 matches saw outright results --- the corresponding for the last season was 26. Clearly, domestic teams have started playing aggressive cricket, thanks largely due to the tournament rules, which reward teams that have more outright wins in case of a tie on points on the standings table.
However, what separated this season from the last was the continuation of aggressive cricket from the league phase into the semis and the final. Last year, only one of the three knockout games saw an outright result. This year, on the other hand, all three knockout games ended in clear results.
The Plate League also saw all three knockout games seeing a result, though only 13 of the 30 league games ended in an outright result. The highlight of the second division was India-discard Shiv Sundar Das' unbeaten 300 for Orissa against Jammu and Kashmir.
Though Mumbai re-emerged as the domestic superpower, defeating Baroda and Bengal in the semifinal and final, respectively, they did lose to Hyderabad for the first time in the history of the tournament during the league stage. After not opening their points tally from the first three games, Mumbai registered five outright wins to end the season on a high.