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On this day: Haryana trump Mumbai in the most thrilling Ranji Trophy final

The Ranji Trophy final of 1991 saw two star-studded teams taking on each other at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The home team consisted of Dilip Vengsarkar, Sachin Tendulkar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Vinod Kambli, Lalchand Rajput, Abey Kuruvilla and Salil Ankola while the challengers Haryana were packed with Kapil Dev, Ajay Jadeja and Chetan Sharma.

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Kapil Dev won the toss and chose to bat first. Deepak Sharma’s 199, Ajay Jadeja’94 and 98 by Chetan Sharma at number nine boosted Haryana to a mammoth first innings score of 522. Mumbai top-order battled hard but without a major contribution from anyone, they ended up conceding a 112-run deficit.

Haryana struggled in the second outing but still managed to set a target of 355 runs for Mumbai with little more than two sessions remaining on the final day.

Chetan Sharma and Kapil made early inroads as Mumbai tumbled to 34/3 by the lunch break. Tendulkar now joined Vengsarkar in the middle and the duo made their way towards making the impossible possible.

First punches came from the bat of Tendulkar. Bashing Haryana’s top-class bowling attack all around the ground, the Master Blaster attracted a crowd of thousands on his own. His blitzkrieg of 75-ball 96 added enormous confidence in the rest of the Mumbai lineup.

After Tendulkar’s departure, Kambli (45 runs) supported Vengsarkar to an extent but the senior batsman had to fight the remaining battle on his own.

Mumbai were 50 runs away from the target when the last man Abey Kuruvilla walked in. Vengsarkar blazed away from one end as the team went past 350 runs. A tragic misunderstanding between Kuruvilla and Vengsarkar’s runner brought the curtains down on an epic encounter. Haryana won their only Ranji Trophy by 2 runs. The match is widely regarded to be the greatest Ranji Trophy final ever played.

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