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Ranji Trophy 2023-24, Final: Mumbai beat Vidarbha by 169 runs, register 42nd title win

Ranji Trophy 2023-24, Final: Mumbai beat Vidarbha by 169 runs, register 42nd title win. Mumbai Cricket Association has announced a bonus of Rs 5 crore - in addition to the winner's purse.

Ranji Trophy 2023-24, Final_ Mumbai beat Vidarbha by 169 runs _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©X_Twitter)
Ranji Trophy 2023-24, Final: Mumbai beat Vidarbha by 169 runs (Photo: ©X/Twitter)

Brief Scores: MUM 224 (Thakur 75, Yash 3/54) & 418 (Musheer 136, Dubey 5/144) beat VID 105 (Rathod 27, Kotian 3/7) & 368 (Wadkar 102, Kotian 4/95) by 169 runs. 

Player of the match: Musheer Khan (142 runs & 2/48)  

Player of the series: Tanush Kotian (502 runs & 29 wickets)

It was a fitting finish for Dhawal Kulkarni to walk off into the sunset with teary eyes by picking up the final Vidarbha wicket on his farewell game to gift Mumbai their 42nd Ranji Trophy. They missed out on their last two occasions but finally ended their long wait of six seasons with a victory by 169 runs over Vidarbha at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. 

By lunchtime on the fifth day, Vidarbha made their way to 333/5, with 205 runs more required to gain a stunning victory. But the moment Mumbai broke the 130-run sixth wicket stand, the visitors lost their last five wickets for just 15 runs. They were bundled out for 368, as Mumbai celebrated their fighting victory. 

Among the four elite groups of Ranji Trophy 2023-24, Andhra’s Ricky Bhui finished the season as the top run scorer with 902 runs in 13 innings at an average of 75.16 with three fifties and four centuries. Tamil Nadu’s Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore ended as the highest wicket-taker with 53 scalps in 15 innings at an average of 18.52 with three five wicket-hauls.


Vidarbha displayed a poor show with the bat to gift Mumbai a 119-run first innings lead

Mumbai came into the final on the back of their huge semifinal win over Tamil Nadu by an innings and 70 runs. Vidarbha, on the flip of the coin, displayed a close fight over Madhya Pradesh for their 62-run victory to earn the tickets for the final. 

Vidarbha captain Akshay Wadkar won the toss and opted to bowl first. Prithvi Shaw’s quick 46-run knock gave Mumbai a solid start on the back of their 81-run opening stand. But since losing the other opener Bhupen Lalwani (37), Mumbai struggled in the middle order, as they lost six wickets for just 30 runs. Vidarbha reduced the hosts to 111/6. 

Mumbai’s rescue-man Shardul Thakur walked in and started to show his aggressive brand of cricket. He celebrated his 11th fifty in first-class cricket to end on a 75-run knock in 69 balls, decorated with eight boundaries and three sixes. With 113 runs for the last four wickets, Mumbai finished their first innings on 224. Both Yash Thakur and Harsh Dubey ended with three wickets each. 

Vidarbha just didn’t turn up with the bat in their first innings. They kept on losing wickets regularly, with none of the batters surviving for a long time. The visitors missed a golden opportunity to put Mumbai out of the contest in the first innings. Tanush Kotian took three wickets in his 4.3 overs to destroy Vidarbha for 105 and gained a 119-run first-innings lead.


Mumbai showed gutsiness and dominance before Vidarbha’s praiseworthy fight

Mumbai didn’t begin their second innings on a positive note, losing both their openers for just 34 runs. Inform Musheer Khan and struggling captain Ajinkya Rahane put up a 130-run third wicket stand to steady the ship. The focus was on Shreyas Iyer’s performance. Iyer stopped all the outside noise with a magnificent 95-run knock in 111 balls, with the help of 10 boundaries and three sixes. 

Musheer Khan continued his purple patch to celebrate his century. He ended with a 136-run knock, shouldering on 10 boundaries. Mumbai slipped a little at the backend to lose their last seven wickets for just 86 runs to get bundled out for 418. Still, a target of 538 runs was the Everest to climb for Vidarbha. 

The visitors made a decent start with a 64-run opening stand. But they lost both their openers Atharva Taide (32) and Dhruv Shorey (28) in quick succession to bring Mumbai back into the contest. The issue for them was their lack of batting after number seven in the line-up. Unlike Mumbai, their bowlers haven’t helped them in the batting department throughout the season.


Karun Nair managed a 54-run third wicket stand with Aman Mokhade and later shared a 90-run fifth wicket stand with Akshay Wadkar. After his dismissal on 74, Vidarbha could only hope for a huge partnership to keep them in the game. Wadkar and Harsh Dubey put up a 130-run sixth wicket stand and played out a wicketless first session on the fifth day. 

The Vidarbha captain notched up his eighth first-class century and kept his team in the chase. But Tanush Kotian trapped him before the wickets to end the partnership. In the very next over, Tushar Deshpande found the inside edge of Dubey (65) into the safe hands of backward square leg. 

Vidarbha, in a blink of an eye, found themselves at 364/9. Ajinkya Rahane summoned Kulkarni, who disturbed the stumps of Umesh Yadav to bundle out the visitors for 368. After the heartbreak two seasons ago, Mumbai wrote their script to earn their 42nd Ranji Trophy. 


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