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Gujarat vs Mumbai, Ranji Trophy Final – 5 Talking Points

Gujarat team with the Ranji Trophy title
Gujarat Ranji team with Ranji Trophy 2016-17 trophy.

It was the battle for the domestic supremacy as Mumbai and Gujarat locked horns in the Ranji Trophy final for the 2016-17 season at the Holkar Stadium in Indore. It was the 46th appearance for the giants Mumbai in the final and they were crowned champions 41 times before this, far more than any other team. Whereas for Gujarat, it was only the second time they featured in the final after the 1950-51 season and were yet to win the title.

Gujarat, led by Parthiv Patel, won the toss and invited Mumbai to bat first. The decision certainly paid rich dividends as Mumbai were restricted to 228 runs in the first innings. Prithvi Shaw ended up being the highest scorer with 71 runs. In reply, Gujarat hurled past the Mumbai score and gained a lead of 100 runs courtesy half-centuries from the skipper and Manpreet Juneja. Shardul Thakur picked up 4 wickets with Balwinder Sandhu and Abhishek Nayar bagging 3 apiece.

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In the second innings, Mumbai bettered their first innings performance and powered their way to 411 runs. It was a combined batting effort with plenty of batsmen getting starts. Shreyas Iyer, Aditya Tare, and Abhishek Nayar managed to score fifties and helped to set a stiff fourth innings target of 312 for Gujarat. The stage was set at that point of time for a wonderful final.

Gujarat turned up with the kind of chase that looked highly improbable at the start. They had lost 2 wickets at the score of 51 runs but an outstanding century from Parthiv and a well made fifty from Manpreet Juneja helped them chase the target with ease. Especially Parthiv made batting look easy and took his side to a historic 5-wicket win. All the hard work of the past few months paid off for them and the Ranji title was theirs for the first time.

Here are the 5 major talking points from the final:

Also read- Ranji Trophy 2016-17 Final Review: Parthiv slams ton as Gujarat clinches maiden title

1. Parthiv Patel’s dominance

The 31-year-old might still look like a teenager, yet he is definitely a veteran in the Indian domestic circuit. He indeed played like one and was the prime enforcer in the team’s achievement. His 90 runs in the first innings, batting at number 4, gave the team stability after the early losses and assisted in obtaining a decent first innings lead.

The second time around, he batted like a true champion and scored a magnificent hundred. His innings of 143 runs off 196 balls will be remembered for a long time. The manner in which he scored the runs kept the opposition at bay and constructed a classy innings with 24 boundaries. He had a strike rate of 72.96 that ensured the required number of runs was coming down at pace. He had recently made a comeback in the Indian Test team and this inning helps his case to be retained in the side for the series against Australia.

2. Manpreet Juneja’s spirited batting

The right-handed batsman from Gujarat had a pleasant outing in the final as he scored vital fifties in both the innings. In the first innings, when his side had lost 3 wickets for 106, it was important for him to spend time at the crease to gain a sizeable first innings lead. He combined well with the skipper Parthiv and added 120 runs for the fourth wicket. When he got out at the score of 77 runs, Gujrat had already earned a slender lead over Mumbai.

In the second innings, he turned up with yet another half-century scoring 54 runs which were even more precious in the context of the game. He again shared a century stand with Parthiv and took his team closer to the victory. He was dismissed at the score of 205 when the platform for a historic chase was set.

3. Chintan Gaja’s 8-fer in the match

The medium pace bowler from Gujarat enjoyed a great time in Indore picking up 8 wickets in the match. Brought in as the first change bowler in the first innings, he picked up the 2 crucial wickets of Shreyas Iyer and a dangerous looking Suryakumar Yadav. After Yadav was picked up, the Mumbai batting line-up suffered a collapse and eventually they were bundled out for 228 runs.

He lifted his game a notch in the second innings when he bagged 6 wickets for 121 runs. He bowled the most number of overs in the innings and was by far the most effective bowler for Gujarat. He picked up the top 3 wickets in the batting line up and came back to remove the tail to restrict the target to a reachable one.

4. Mumbai’s hot and cold show

The 41 times champions had a mixed bag in the game as they produced good cricket for some part and absolutely poor in the other. They had a dismal first innings with the bat and managed only 228 runs with the bat. Only 2 batsmen were able to get past the score of 50. Their spinners were ineffective with the ball but the pacers did well and picked up all the 10 wickets.

They made a tremendous comeback with the bat in the second innings with most of the batsmen contributing to the team’s total. They had the dominant hand in the game at that time having a lead of 311 runs. But the fielding let them down in the final innings and they dropped 5 catches that hurt them badly. The slip catching was awful and they hardly held on to anything that went their way. The Gujarat batsmen made the most of the chances and blew the game away from Mumbai.

5. Gujarat create history

Before the start of the game, not many had predicted a Gujarat victory. But Parthiv Patel led the side beautifully against all odds and scripted the first ever Ranji Trophy triumph for Gujarat. It was a young side that was against the defending champs but they were up for the task. They did a superb job in restricting a strong Mumbai batting line-up to 228 runs in the first innings courtesy a combined bowling effort. Then they gained a vital lead of 100 runs and pushed Mumbai on the back foot.

The chase in the fourth innings was amazing and an exhibition was set by the batsmen. They were always positive and after the target. The pace at which they batted literally left the Mumbai team shell-shocked and they never recovered from the beating they received. The state of Gujarat had produced several international stars for India but this was the title that they didn’t have and in the 83 years of Ranji, they brought it home for the first time.

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