Sunday, November 5, 2017

Off-cutters: Interesting trivia ahead of Mumbai's 500th Ranji Trophy match

Mumbai v Delhi clashes are never short of needle. In the 1984-85 final at the Wankhede Stadium, the visitors believed that they would deprive Mumbai of the title when they scored 398 in response to Mumbai's first innings score of 333. Later in the game, a perky Delhi all-rounder exclaimed that the Ranji Trophy ought to be polished and kept ready to be taken to the Capital. He was loud enough for Ravi Shastri to hear his sledge. Shastri had the last laugh as he claimed eight second innings wickets for 91 runs and Delhi ended up losing by 90 runs.

Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri

Dilip Vengsarkar once admitted that he endured many sleepless nights after losing the 1990-91 Ranji Trophy final to Haryana at the Wankhede Stadium. On May 7, a tearful Vengsarkar left the field with an unbeaten 139 to his name as the Sanjay Manjrekar-led Mumbai outfit lost to Kapil Dev's Haryana by two runs.

Four months after being spotted by Makarand Waingankar, the BCA-Mafatlal Bowling Scheme's chief co-ordinator, paceman Abey Kuruvilla made his Ranji Trophy debut for Mumbai. The final against Haryana was huge for Kuruvilla and he justified his inclusion by claiming five wickets in the game. Interestingly, the India selectors picked him six years later.

It's rare to have opening bowlers with the same surname. Mumbai's Raju Kulkarni and Ravi Kulkarni took charge of the new ball in the 1984-85 final against Delhi. Raju claimed five for 106 in the first innings while Ravi went wicketless in the match.

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