Rajasthan retain Ranji Trophy

January 23rd, 2012 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 23 (IANS) There was no drama or theatrics on the last day of the Ranji Trophy cricket final as Rajasthan retained the trophy on the basis of their 326-run first innings lead over Tamil Nadu as the match ended in a tame draw at the Chepauk here Monday.

The fifth and concluding day’s play was only of academic interest as Rajasthan piled up 204 for five in their second innings before declaring at tea break to leave Tamil Nadu a victory target of 531 runs in the final session. The hosts were eight for two wickets after 13 overs when the match was called off.

The only point of interest was whether Rajasthan’s prolific scorer Robin Bist would get to his fifth century of the season, but the 24-year-old middle-order batsman fell for 92 (185b, 13×4). In the process, he completed 1,000 runs in this year’s tournament with four centuries and four half-centuries in 10 matches.

Bist drew praise from his skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar who, during the post-match media conference, dubbed the youngster as a “good prospect”.

“I am sure, this year’s performance would have impressed them. The selectors are taking note of everyone’s performance,” said Kanitkar.

The Rajasthan skipper attributed to the team’s success that at one stage looked to be in doubt following the horrendous start that they had, to the players enjoying each other’s success while the focus was on collective performance rather than focus on an individual.

“We are a very well-knit side. We enjoy each other’s success. The boys worked really hard. It was very difficult but I am happy we turned it around.

“We stayed together. We believed in performing and winning rather on individual talents in the team,” the former India player asserted.

When asked about the pitch that neither assisted the bowlers nor the batsmen with its slow pace and low bounce, Kanitkar said the conditions demanded patience to graft runs.

“It was not easy to score runs. One had to stay at the wicket and gather the runs. Only mistakes by a batsman would cost him the wicket,” said Kanitkar while pointing out that even had Tamil Nadu batted first, they would have struggled, especially since the team was full of stroke players.

“They have some terrific batsmen and you need to bowl in the right areas on this kind of a wicket,” said Kanitkar.

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