Khan inspires Baroda to title victory

Published: Monday, April 23, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Vadodara: Test medium pacer Zaheer Khan's stupendous effort of five for 43 on Monday gave Baroda a stunning 21-run victory over Railways and helped it regain the Ranji Trophy after a gap of 43 years. Last time Baroda had won in 1957-58 under the captainship of D K Gaekwad. For Railways, which had dominated the final for more than three days it was second bitter disappointment. Railways had lost the final to Tamil Nadu in 1988. Needing 223 to win, Railways was all out for 201. Baroda started the day needing six wickets, while Railways needed 132 runs for a win. Railways quickly lost Goud (20) and Shreyyas Khanolkar (three). Khan first forced Goud to fine edge behind and then at the score of 101 Khanolkar was declared lbw for deliberate padding. But Sudhir Wankhede, top scorer as well as the last man to get out at 58, and Santosh Sahu staged a great rally of 83 runs at a fast clip in even time. The threatening stand was broken by Khan when he came back for his second spell. In the very first over Khan had Sahu caught in the first slip off a rising delivery. Murali Karthik, the batting hero for Railways with 79 in the first innings, was adjudged caught behind for two by umpire S Tarapore and the batsman left the field showing his annoyance. Khan reserved the best ball for the best batsman in Wankhede and 15 minutes before lunch bowled him with curling Yorker. Wankhede had made his runs with some bold shots for twos and threes.

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