Rajat Patidar hit the winning runs as Madhya Pradesh scripted their historic maiden Ranji Trophy win beating Mumbai by six wickets in the final on Sunday at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. (More Cricket News)
Madhya Pradesh’s only other Ranji Trophy final was in the 1998-99 season.
On the final day, Mumbai could only manage 269 in their second innings, leaving Madhya Pradesh with a paltry target of 108, and they did it in style as Pandit won a record sixth national title as a coach. Rajat Patidar once again shone with the bat as he remained on 30 not out. Shubham Sharma and Himanshu Mantri also scored 30 and 37 respectively as Madhya Pradesh reached the required target in 29.5 overs.
Life has come a full circle for Madhya Pradesh head coach Chandrakant Pandit. He was leading the side when Madhya Pradesh lost against Karnataka in the 1998-99 Ranji Trophy final. 23 years later, Pandit finally has a Ranji Trophy for his state team, but as a head coach.
Sarfaraz Khan (45), who finished the season with 18 short of 1000 runs and young Suved Parkar (51) tried their bit, but with the need to attack at every opportunity, MP's Kumar Kartikeya (4/98) and the other bowlers knew that wickets would come their way.
Chandu bhai, tumhaala maanla 🙌🏽— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) June 26, 2022
1st Mumbai, then Vidarbha, and now MP, it's incredible! Best coach when it comes to winning trophies 🏆 Many congratulations to skipper Aditya Shrivastava, MP team, and support staff 👏🏽👏🏽 #RanjiTrophyFinal pic.twitter.com/BqR1gGXtDW
While chasing, there were some hiccups, but with just over 100 to get, it was a stroll in the park for the Madhya Pradesh team. As they completed the victory, Pandit was flooded with memories (not happy ones), which he hasn't been able to erase for over two decades and despite winning five trophies as a coach.
It was here at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in the summer of 1999 when Madhya Pradesh, despite a first-innings lead of 75, failed to win the game as Pandit, a proud captain, finished his playing career in tears. He has again proved to be an 'Alchemist', after guiding Vidarbha to four trophies (successive Ranji and Irani Cup), with a team that didn't have superstars.
In MP, there was no Avesh Khan or Venkatesh Iyer and had only an emerging potential star in Patidar, yet they followed Pandit's 'Gurukul' style of 'My Way or HighWay' coaching philosophy to emerge triumphant.
“Completely ecstatic. It is the moment of a lifetime for me. The emotions are deep, we are trying to laugh it out but we are extremely emotional from the inside. This has been my first year as captain and whatever I know about leading a side is from Chandrakant Sir,” said MP captain Aditya Shrivastava.
Since 2010, the Ranji Trophy, barring Karnataka's dominance for a few seasons and Mumbai winning it once, it has been won by teams like Rajasthan (twice), Vidarbha (twice), Saurashtra (once) and Madhya Pradesh, who would never be in contention in the past.
The Ranji Trophy deserves to be in the MPCA cabinet for the next one year.