Saurashtra won the Ranji Trophy 2019/20 title. (Source: Twitter)

Jaydev Unadkat’s joy knew no bounds when Saurashtra defeated Gujarat in the semi-final of the Ranji Trophy 2019/20 to enter the final stage. He punched in the air with delight and why not, after all the left-arm pacer had been leading the side from the front becoming the highest wicket-taker in this season.

But Unadkat and his team’s zeal didn’t end after just entering the final. They knew the stage was big and the path to lifting the trophy wasn’t going to be an easy win. They were up against Bengal at the SCA for the title clash who had also written a script of their own in this edition of India’s biggest domestic tournament.

The god was a bit kind towards Unadkat as Saurashtra won the toss and they immediately elected to bat first. Openers Harvik Desai and Avi Barot started the innings in a steady way putting 82 on the board for the first wicket.

Saurashtra looked steady for putting up a good total on the board but fall of wickets at regular intervals pushed them on the back foot slightly. They were 206/5 when Arpit Vasavada took the onus on himself and smashed another ton of the season to help his side put 425 on the board before getting all-out.

Akash Deep and Shahbaz Ahmed picked a total of 7 wickets for Bengal.

In reply, Bengal didn’t really have a solid start as they lost opener Sudip Kumar Gharami to Dharmendrasinh Jadeja while skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran went back in the hut after a controversial LBW call for 9.

Despite the regular fall of wickets at one end, Anustup Majumdar stood strong at the other side and remained unbeaten on Day 4 of the match. But his stay at the crease was a short one on Day 5 as Unadkat scalped his wicket for 63.

Arnab Nandi tried to stead the ship for Bengal from one end but he lost partners and Bengal was eventually bowled out for 381 handing Saurashtra the first innings.

Saurashtra scored 105/4 in the second innings before the stumps were called. The match ended in a draw but Saurashtra won the title as they took the first-innings lead.

WHO SAID WHAT?
Karsan Ghavri — Saurashtra Coach: I could not have asked for a better gift (birthday) than this one. This is one of those proud moments and a historical moment for Saurashtra cricket, I am on cloud nine.

Cheteshwar Pujara: It’s a great feeling and we are in a different world altogether.

Abhimanyu Easwaran, losing captain: It’s a tough one to swallow.

Jaydev Unadkat, winning captain: We’ve won the trophy for the first time in 73 years and I couldn’t be happier.

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