Vidarbha players celebrate after winning the Irani Cup against Rest of India (RoI) at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur on Feb. 16. (IANS photo)

NAGPUR — Riding their first innings lead, Ranji champions Vidarbha clinched the Irani Cup defeating Rest of India (RoI) at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here Feb. 16.

Although the match ended in a draw, Vidarbha emerged champions on the basis of their 95-run first innings lead.

Vidarbha had scored 425 in their first innings in reply to Rest of India's 330. Later, RoI declared their second innings on 374/3, setting Vidarbha a 280-run target.

The Ranji champions had a poor start to their chase as they lost opener Faiz Fazal (0) early. But Sanjay Raghunath (42) and Atharwa Taide (72) steered the Vidarbha innings with a 116-run partnership for the second wicket.

The duo were going strong but pacer Rahul Chahar struck before lunch and sent Raghunath to the pavilion.

Taide was then joined by Ganesh Satish (87) and the duo continued to dominate opponents before Chahar struck once again to remove Taide with the Vidarbha scorecard reading 146/2.

Satish and Mohit Kale then added 83 runs for the fourth wicket. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja dismissed the latter to make the contest interesting.

Vidarbha was just 11 runs away from victory, when Hanuma Vihari struck to send Sathish back and deny the Ranji champions a victory, as the contest ended in a draw.

RoI spinner Rahul Chahar emerged the most successful bowler with match figures of 6/228.

Brief scores:

Vidarbha: 425 and 269/5 (Ganesh Satish 87, Atharwa Taide 72; Chahar 2/116) beat Rest of India: 330 and 374/3 declared on first-innings lead.

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