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Vijay Hazare Trophy: Sheldon's ton powers Saurashtra to second title, defeat Maharashtra by five wickets
Ahmedabad: Saurashtra opener Sheldon Jackson scored a match-winning century that stole the limelight from Ruturaj Gaikwad's ton to help his side clinch their second Vijay Hazare Trophy title by defeating Maharashtra by five wickets in the final at Ahmedabad on Friday.
This is Saurashtra's first title since 2007-08 while Maharashtra's wait for their maiden Vijay Hazare triumph continues. Chasing 249, openers Harvik Desai and Sheldon gave a great start to Saurashtra. They formed a partnership of 125 for the first wicket, chasing half the total by themselves. Mukesh Choudhary broke the stand by dismissing Desai for a well-made 50 off 67 balls. Saurashtra was 125/1 in 26.4 overs.
Following this, Choudhary and Vicky Ostwal together took wickets at regular intervals to create some pressure on Saurashtra. Jay Gohil (0), Samarth Vyas (12), Arpit Vasavada (15) and Prerak Mankad (1) could not make much impact. Half of Saurashtra's batting line-up was gone at 192 runs.
However, Jackson kept the other end steady, bringing up a brilliant century. Chirag Jani (30*) gave him able support. Both stitched a stand of 57 runs to make sure that Saurashtra reached the target without any further loss of wickets. Jackson ended unbeaten on 133 off 136 balls with 12 fours and five sixes.
Choudhary (2/38) and Ostwal (2/20) bowled well, but there were not enough runs on the board for them to defend, especially against Jackson, who was looking absolutely lethal.
Put to bat first by Saurashtra, Maharashtra posted 248/9 in their 50 overs. Ruturaj Gaikwad scored a brilliant century (108) and led his side from the front as a batter. Except for knocks by Azim Kazi (37) and Naushad Shaikh (31*), his century did not get the support it deserved from other batters.
Gaikwad was involved in some big partnerships, a 66-run stand for the second wicket with Satyajeet Bachhav (27) and a 94-run stand for the fourth wicket with Kazi. Except for that, Saurashtra bowlers dominated the innings.
Jani (3/43) was the pick of the bowlers for Saurashtra. Jaydev Unadkat, Mankad and Parth Bhut took a wicket each.
Sheldon's innings earned him the 'Man of the Match' title. Gaikwad was chosen as the 'Man of the Tournament' for his brilliant run. In five matches, he scored 660 runs at an average of 220, with a best of 220*. He scored four centuries in the tournament. (ANI)