Latest Match Report – Maharashtra vs Saurashtra Final 2022/23

Saurashtra 249 for 5 (Jackson 133*, Desai 50, Johny 30*, Ostwal 2-20, Chaudhary 2-38) Maharashtra 248 for 9 (Gaikwad 108, Qazi 37, Sheikh 31*, Johny 3-43) from five wickets

It was a memorable day for Sheldon Jackson, who scored an unbeaten 133 to beat Saurashtra by Maharashtra’s 248 runs to win a second Vijay Hazare Trophy title in the final in Ahmedabad. Chirag Johnny was Saurashtra’s other star as he first took a hat-trick of 43 for 3 and then scored 30 off 25 balls as Jackson’s side reached the finish line.
This was after Rutoraj Gaikwad scored his fourth century in five matches in the tournament and helped Maharashtra to 248 for 9.
Chasing 249, Harvick Desai and Jackson started cautiously, with Mukesh Chaudhary and Manoj Ingle opening the maiden overs. Jackson, who had not had a remarkable run until the final over, was 3 off 18 balls before an aerial chip to wide mid-off earned him his first four. He then feasted on Rajvardhan Hungergakar’s short and wide deliveries, hitting three fours through the arc between backward point and cover in his first two overs.

Satyajit Bacchu’s third over was really Jackson’s best outing, charging down the left-arm spinner to hit two sixes straight over his head, before a misfield at sweeper cover gave him another boundary. . He scored his half-century off 66 balls and Desai followed it up on 61 balls.

Saurashtra were in command at 125 for no loss when Chaudhary struck twice in three balls to dismiss Desai and Jay Gohal and turned the game around. Vicky Ostwall then came into the act as he kept the batsmen quiet and scored 2 runs for 20 runs in his ten overs.

But Saurashtra managed to keep their noses in front, with Jackson hitting a 116-ball century and a 36-ball 42-run partnership with Vaswada for the fourth wicket.

Ostwal sent back Vaswada for his second wicket, and the Scorpions got rid of Prerik Mankid soon after, and when Johnny joined Jackson in the middle, Saurashtra were still 57 behind. But the duo put pressure on Maharashtra again and cleared the required runs with 21 balls to spare. Fittingly, it was Jackson who hit a six and a four to finish the job.

In the nippy conditions of the morning, Jaydev Annadak and Kushang Patel kept the Maharashtra openers quiet – Gaikwad and Pawan Shah could not find boundaries but also found the strike rotation difficult. This led to Pawan attempting a dangerous single after flicking Unaddict over midwicket for a run out courtesy of a direct hit from Johnny.

The battle of the morning was between Anadkat and Gaekwad, both experienced players fighting inch by inch and not giving up. After a spell of four overs, Unaddict changed the end and thought he had Gaekwad caught behind, but the umpire was unmoved. He conceded just one run in two overs after changing ends and after his first two spells, his figures read 6-1-5-0. It also included a bad bouncer who hit the scorpion on the helmet.

Gaekwad, meanwhile, struggled to get going as Maharashtra scored 18 for 1 at the ten-over mark. He was on 10 off 45 balls before he hit his first four – a sweep to backward square leg off Dharminder Singh Jadeja. After a few overs, he pulled pacer Kushang to square leg.

After a 66-run partnership for the second wicket, Gaikwad added 94 runs for the fourth wicket with Azim Qazi. This was a phase of the game where Maharashtra saw their scoring rate increase significantly. Gaekwad, who scored his half-century in 96 balls – his slowest this season – took just 29 balls for his next fifty, and completed his century in 125 balls.

He took on Jadeja in the process, repeatedly hitting the left-arm spinner on the offside. He scored his third consecutive century with back-to-back sixes off Johnny before a run-out ended his knock. Maharashtra couldn’t pick up much momentum after that, and Johnny’s hat-trick – Saurabh Nawale, Hungargakar and Ostwal were his victims – held them back for good in the final over with a level score.

The win boosted Anadkat’s credentials as a captain. He led Saurashtra to their first Ranji Trophy title in 2019-2020. He also topped the wicket-taking charts in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with 19 strikes.

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