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Vidarbha clinches Irani Cup title

Riding their first innings lead, Ranji champions Vidarbha clinched the Irani Cup defeating Rest of India (RoI) at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.

The Vidarbha cricket team is a domestic cricket team in the Ranji Trophy, India’s domestic first-class cricket competition. It represents the Vidarbha region of eastern Maharashtra. In December 2017, they reached the final of the Ranji Trophy for the first time in their history, after they beat Karnataka by 5 runs in the semi-finals of the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy tournament. In the final, they beat Delhi by 9 wickets to win their first Ranji Trophy.. In the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy, Vidarbha successfully defended the crown by defeating Saurashtra by 78 runs in the final played at Nagpur.

Vidarbha first played first-class cricket in the 1957–58 season, competing against the other Central Zone teams until 2001-02, after which the Ranji Trophy was no longer contested on a zonal basis. Before the 2017-18 season, Vidarbha‘s best seasons were 1970-71 and 1995–96, when it reached the quarter-finals of the Ranji Trophy and 2002–03 and 2011–12, when it reached the semi-finals of the Plate Group. Up to the start of the 2017-18 season, Vidarbha had played 259 first-class matches, with 41 wins, 89 losses and 129 draws.

Vidarbha’s main home ground was always the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Nagpur until 2009, when it was superseded by the newly developed Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium at Jamtha in Nagpur.

Vidarbha’s record score is 221 by Samir Gujar against Madhya Pradesh in 1991-92. The best bowling figures in an innings are 8 for 39 by Arun Ogiral against Madhya Pradesh in 1967-68, and the best bowling figures in a match are 13 for 162 by Akshay Wakhare against Gujarat in 2014-15. 

The Z. R. Irani Cup (earlier called Irani Trophy) tournament was conceived during the 1959-60 season to mark the completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy championship and was named after the late Z. R. Irani, who was associated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from its inception in 1928, till his death in 1970. The fixture is played annually between the incumbent Ranji Trophy winners and the Rest of India Team.

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