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Ranji Trophy: Parthiv Patel and Gujarat Rewrite History Books

Arnab Sen |Cricketnext | Updated: January 15, 2017, 12:20 AM IST
Ranji Trophy: Parthiv Patel and Gujarat Rewrite History Books

Image credit: Twitter/Parthiv Patel.

New Delhi: Parthiv Patel might have made his debut for India at the age of 17 years, he might have made a great comeback to the Indian Test side last month to revive his international career, but that doesn't make him a 'superman', who would not feel the nerves, when batting against a formidable Mumbai bowling attack as he and his team chased a dream.

But the diminutive wicket-keeper batsman displayed nerves of steel as he mounted one of the finest rearguards seen in Ranji Trophy history to take Gujarat to their maiden domestic title.

READ MORE: Parthiv Patel Guides Gujarat to Maiden Title

You need more than inspiration and motivation when you are taking on 41-times winners Mumbai in a Ranji Trophy final, who had last lost in the summit clash way back in 1990-91 to Haryana.

You rather need an indefatigable spirit and a bit of daredevilry in such a situation and Parthiv displayed both on the final morning of the Ranji Trophy final at Indore's Holkar stadium. Indore by the way was also the venue when Gujarat lost their only previous Ranji final to Holkar in 1950-51.

Gujarat's openers Gohel and Panchal had laid the perfect platform for the record chase on the fourth evening, but they couldn't take it any further on the final day. Balwinder Sandhu and Abhishek Nayar removing Gujarat's two most prolific run-getters this season to bring the defending champions right back in the match.

And when Sandhu sent back Bhargav Merai, it looked like the floodgates will open and Mumbai will cruise to title number 42.

But Parthiv was in no mood to give in. He cut, pulled and drove with elan to take the attack right back to the Mumbai bowlers. He found an able partner in Manprit Juneja as the duo put on a century stand.

There were times when Parthiv was lucky, inside edges flew to the boundary, but the Gujarat captain was unfazed. He seemed like a man possessed, who was waiting to rewrite history and he did.

By the time Parthiv was dismissed for 143, he had put Gujarat on the road to victory, which was achieved soon.

The win ensured Gujarat broke the record for the highest run chase in a Ranji Trophy final, breaking Hyderabad's record of chasing 310 runs, set in 1937-38. The win also making Parthiv's knock the highest score in a run chase in a Ranji final, obliterating the mark set by Hyderabad's Edulji Aibara in 1937-38.

Gujarat's win though was not just about the numbers and in a way all about them. It was about a bunch of men wanting something badly and a captain delivering when it mattered the most.

Any mention of Gujarat's maiden win will be incomplete without talking about Priyank Panchal. The opener who ended the season with 1310 runs at an average of 87.33 as the highest run-getter.

Team Gujarat can rejoice and rest on their laurels for now, but the real test will be repeating this success next season.

First Published: January 14, 2017, 10:32 PM IST

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