Sheldon Jackson and Chirag Jani overshadow Ruturaj’s heroics as Saurastra lift 2022 Vijay Hazare Trophy

It was destined to be another match that tells the tale of a human-turned-superhero in the tournament, Ruturaj Gaikwad . A man who’s exploits have created and broken records in every match and has taken his team to the finals almost single-handedly.

A man who redefined the word “consistency” as he came out to bat . A man , the entire Maharashtra team was banking on to lead them through to glory in the finals against Saurastra. But destiny had other ideas after all it’s the “Game of Uncertainties”.

Maharashtra was put into bat by the Saurastra skipper Jaydev Unadkad after he won the toss. The ball was doing a bit initially and respecting the conditions both the openers Ruturaj and Pavan excercised caution. By the 5th over, when Maharashtra just had 4 runs on the board, a rare gap in communication affected the run-out of Pavan Shah with a near accurate throw from Chirag Jani from the boundary line.

Ruturaj however, was unstoppable with his unmatched strokeplay, as he had been for the better part of the tournament, went on to score another ton , his 4th in the last 5 innings . It was his run-out shortly after, that the tables turned in favour of Saurastra.

Another perfect throw from the boundary by Chirag Jani line saw Ruturaj fall inches a hairline short of his crease . It was all Saurastra since then as Chirag Jani unleashed mayhem with the ball as he delivered the knock-out punch with a hat-trick by dismissing Saurav Navale, Rajvardhan Hangargekar and Vicky Ostwal as the Maharashtra innings folded for 248 in the allotted 50 overs.

Saurastra openers got to a brilliant start as the openers Harvik Desai and Sheldon Jackson put up an opening stand of 125 runs before Harvik was dismissed after getting to his personal milestone of 50 runs . The partnership laid the foundations of a famous win as Sheldon Jackson went on to score a breathtaking 133 to seal the deal for Saurastra. Saurastra did face a few tense moments as they lost a few quick wickets , but a breezy 25 ball 30 took the team safely over the line.

Sandip Basu - 28 Posts

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