Rajneesh Gurbani took 6 wickets in the first innings including a superb hat-trick to put Vidarbha in the driving seat against Delhi in the Ranji Trophy final at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Saturday.
Vidarbha’s Rajneesh Gurbani is a man for the big occasions as he stepped up for his team in the Ranji Trophy Final by taking a hat-trick to restrict Delhi to 295 in the first innings. The medium pacer bowled Vikas Sharma and Navdeep Saini of the last two deliveries of his 23rd over, before castling centurion Dhruv Shorey of the first ball of his 24th over.
Gurbani who claimed his maiden hat-trick in first-class cricket is now in elite company as he is only the second bowler after B Kalyanasundaram of Tamil Nadu to achieve this feat in a Ranji Trophy final. The first hat-trick in a Ranji final came in 1972/73 in Chennai against Mumbai.
Three balls after completing his hat-trick, Gurbani again rattled Kulwant Khejroliya’s stumps to end Delhi’s innings. He took 6 wickets in the match, as he had dismissed Rishabh Pant and Himmat Singh on the first day. The best bit about his efforts came from the fact that he suffered an ankle injury on Friday, which made him left the field in the middle of the over for 30 minutes.
With this, he became the third bowler (after Pritam Gandhe (2) and Umesh Yadav) from Vidarbha to take a hat-trick in India’s most prestigious domestic tournament.
He also became the second bowler to claim a hat-trick in a Ranji Trophy final. The first player to achieve this feat was Tamil Nadu’s B Kalyanasundaram who had claimed it against Bombay in 1972-73 final.
Overall, he became the 76th player to achieve this feat in Ranji Trophy — the previous player to do so was Karnataka’s, Vinay Kumar.
Rajneesh Gurbani has been in splendid form this season, taking 37 wickets in six games so far.