5 Big stories of the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy season
- 5 big stories of the recently-concluded 2019-20 Ranji Trophy season
- A look at the history makers and the record holders
The 2019-20 season of the Ranji Trophy, Indian cricket's premier domestic cricket competition, saw Saurashtra become the newest team to be crowned champions, after they beat Bengal in the final courtesy of a first-innings lead.
Retaining the format of the previous edition of the competition, the 86th season of the Ranji Trophy featured a total of 38 teams - two groups (Group A and Group B) of nine teams each and two groups (Group C and Group D) of 10 teams each.
The top five teams from a combined table of Group A and B teams, along with the top two teams from Group C and the top team from Group D progressed to the quarter-finals.
Madhya Pradesh (Group B), Uttarakhand (Group C), and Arunachal Pradesh (Group D) were the only teams that did not win a game in the group stage, while the only debutants in this season's competition, Chandigarh, finished third in Group D.
On that note, let us have a look at the five big stories of the recently-concluded 2019-20 Ranji Trophy season.
#5: Taruwar Kohli becomes the fifth player to score multiple triple centuries in the Ranji Trophy
Taruwar Kohli became the fifth player to score multiple triple centuries in the Ranji Trophy when the 31-year old scored an unbeaten 307 for Mizoram against Arunachal Pradesh in a drawn group-stage game in the recently-concluded 2019-20 Ranji Trophy.
Having made his first-class debut in 2008, the right-hander scored his first triple hundred (300*) in the Ranji Trophy for Punjab against Jharkhand in the 2012-13 season.
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#4: Wasim Jaffer becomes the first player to score 12000 runs in the Ranji Trophy
10-time Ranji Trophy winner Wasim Jaffer scripted more history in the Ranji Trophy in 2019-20 when the elegant right-handed batsman from Mumbai became the first player in competition history to score 12000 runs.
The 42-year-old achieved the landmark during an innings of 57 scored for Vidarbha against Kerala in a Group A league match.
Earlier in the season, Jaffer also became the first player to appear in 150 games in the Ranji Trophy.
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#3: Ravi Yadav becomes the first player to bag a hat-trick in the first over of his debut first-class match
Left-arm fast bowler Ravi Yadav became the first player to bag a hat-trick in the first over of his first-class debut when he did so for Madhya Pradesh against Uttar Pradesh in a group-stage game of the recently-concluded 2019-20 Ranji Trophy.
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Ironically, the 28-year-old Yadav achieved the landmark against his native state Uttar Pradesh.
#2: Jaydev Unadkat records the most prolific season by a fast bowler in Ranji Trophy history
Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat led from the front as the Gujarat-based team won the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy after edging out Bengal in the final.
The left-armer bagged 67 wickets in 11 matches during the season to usurp previous record-holder Dodda Ganesh's record of 62 wickets taken for Karnataka during the 1998-99 season.
Unadkat picked up seven five-wicket hauls during the campaign, with one of his most decisive performances coming in a semi-final thriller against Baroda where he picked 10 wickets in the match as Saurashtra won by 92 runs.
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#1: Saurashtra become the newest team to win the Ranji Trophy
Following final reverses against Mumbai (2012-13, 2015-16) and Vidarbha (2018-19), Saurashtra came good at the fourth time of asking when the Gujarat-based team beat Bengal in the final of the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy to become the newest team to win the competition.
Saurashtra, in the process, became the third team from the Saurashtra region of Gujarat to win the Ranji Trophy, the two other teams to do so being Nawanagar (1936-37) and Western India (1943-44).
Losing their only game of the campaign to Uttar Pradesh in the group stage of the competition, Saurashtra qualified for the knockout round as one of the top five teams from the combined Group A and B table.
In the quarter-finals, Jaydev Unadkat's men beat Andhra Pradesh by six wickets and edged out Gujarat by 92 runs in the semi-finals before taking the all-important first-innings lead in the drawn final against Bengal to be crowned the newest Ranji Trophy champions.