Vidarbha scripted history as they trounced seven-time winners Delhi by nine wickets on day four to lift their maiden Ranji Trophy title at the Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore on Saturday. Set a meagre target of 29 to win, Vidarbha completed the run-chase in five overs as veteran batsman Wasim Jaffer hit the winning runs. This was a big victory for the Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal and coach Chandrakant Pandit as they were the underdogs in the tournament. The one thing which stole the limelight away from Vidarbha's fairy-tale victory was seasoned player Gautam Gambhir's congratulatory message to the winners.
Soon after the match ended, Gambhir tweeted, "Well done Vidarbha on winning the Ranji Trophy. I can tell you from experience that there will be fewer better days than this one. Congrats @faizfazal U guys deserve it all as u had consistency in ur corner @BCCI @BCCIdomestic @faizfazal."
Well done Vidarbha on winning the Ranji Trophy. I can tell you from experience that there will be fewer better days than this one. Congrats @faizfazal U guys deserve it all as u had consistency in ur corner @BCCI @BCCIdomestic @faizfazal— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) January 1, 2018
However, in another Tweet, Gambhir did not fail to appreciate Delhi's performance and said that he was proud of the entire team which represented Delhi.
Proud of the way my entire group, Delhi played the season. No shame in being second to a better team in Vidarbha. Let's learn from the past n plan for the future but be proud of ur self...very proud @BCCI @BCCIdomestic— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) January 1, 2018
Mumbai-batsman Jaffer has previously won the title nine times when he represented Mumbai, but this is the first time that he hit the winning runs. That the tournament ended in a triumph for Fazal, who has been there for 15 seasons, was appropriate as he led the side from the front, scoring nearly 900 runs.
With this win Vidarbha became the 18th team to win the title since Ranji Trophy's inaugural in 1934-35. Rajneesh Gurbani was named man of the match for ending the match with figures of eight for 151.
Fazal was satisfied with the team's effort and said that they had worked for this all along and finally they have achieved it.
"Really worked for the trophy. A fairy-tale. Months of training has paid off. The bowlers did really well in the first innings and that set the tone for us. Thakare had some nerves but bowling the first over settled the nerves. I also wanted Gurbani to bowl the second over. This is really a team-effort and I am thankful to the boys, Chandrakant Pandit and Subroto Banerjee. We were working towards it all along, and we have finally achieved it. I didn't start off that well with the bat but I got 5 hundreds in five games after that. I enjoyed the company of Sanju (Ramaswamy)."