Veteran Indian players Parthiv Patel and Rudra Pratap Singh showed their class as Gujarat trumped Delhi by 139 runs in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Monday. The final was expected to be a nail biter with a bevvy of stars in both the teams but it was Gujarat that grabbed the tie by the scruff of its neck and outplayed their opponents. This was incidentally Gujarat’s first Vijay Hazare triumph.
RP Singh turned back the clock when it mattered the most, dismissing four top order batsmen of Delhi. Delhi were struggling at 38 for four in 12 overs courtesy some ferocious deliveries of the one-time leading Indian bowler. Unmukt Chand (33 off 48 balls) and Nitish Rana (12) tried to give some respectability to the chase but both were dismissed by youngster Jasprit Bumrah who finished with impressive figures of 5/28, which was his first five wicket haul in list A matches.
RP Singh cleaned up Rishabh Pant in the very first ball of the Delhi innings and then got Shikhar Dhawan caught at short cover. Gautam Gambhir was the next big fish who edged an outswinger and although there was doubt about the catch taken at first slip by Rujul Bhatt, the left hander was given out by the third umpire. Next in line was Milind Kumar who was trapped in front by RP Singh but the right-hander was unlucky to be given out as replays showed that the ball had just pitched outside the leg stump before crashing into the pads of Kumar. Delhi’s situation could have been disastrous had Bhatt not missed a regulation catch of Chand in the slips. RP Singh finished with figures of 4/42 in 10 overs, which included two maidens.
Left arm spinner Pawan Negi (57 off 47 balls, 9×4, 4×6) gave some late jitters to Gujarat with a counter attacking innings but Bumrah got him caught at mid off when the tried to advance down the track and launch him for a maximum. Apart from Negi, Chand and Rana, Bumrah sent back Suboth Bhati and Ishant Sharma.
Earlier, Gujarat were going great guns until three quick wickets between the 37th and 39th overs pegged them back and were bowled out for 273 in 50 overs. Parthiv Patel (105 off 119 balls) played a perfect captain’s knock, scoring a well deserved century but just when he looked set for a big score, he was knocked over by Pawan Negi (2/36). The stumper smashed 10 fours in his marathon innings.
Gujarat was put into bat by Gautam Gambhir and were jolted by two quick blows from Ishant (1/19) and Navdeep Saini (2/46), who accounted for the wickets of Bhargav Merai and Priyank Panchal respectively. However Bhatt (56 off 74 balls) who scored a well timed half century brought up a 149-run partnership with the wicket keeper.
In the 37th over Rana (1/18) got Bhatt caught behind and the procession started. Patel was dismissed soon and then Axar Patel and Manpreet Juneja were sent to the hut by Saini and Manan Sharma respectively.
Had it not been for the 42-run stand between Chirag Gandhi (44 n o off 39 balls) and Rush Kalaria (21 off 20 balls), Gujarat wouldn’t have managed to cross the 250-run mark. Gandhi stayed unbeaten till the end as he saw the tail being wrapped up in the last two overs. Bhati ended up with two wickets in his bag.