Dhawal Kulkarni gets teary-eyed after Ajinkya Rahane’s unexpected behavior in Mumbai vs Vidarbha Ranji Trophy final

Dhawal Kulkarni had tears in his eyes after taking the last wicket for Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy final. This would not have been possible without Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane.

Dhawal Kulkarni

After no wickets fell in the first session on the fifth day of the Ranji Trophy final, Mumbai finally got a consolation after lunch. In Tanush Kotian and Tushar Deshpande, they found a perfect pair to dismantle Vidarbha’s lower order after stiff resistance from captain Akshay Wadkar and all-rounder Harsh Dubey. Kotian was challenging on both sides of the bat while Deshpande was tossing the Vidarbha tail. Within 28 balls, Mumbai took four wickets – two by Kotian and two by Deshpande. It was Kotian who broke the disappointing situation by dismissing Wadkar for 102. Deshpande then made good use of the short ball to end the resistance from Dubey (65).

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It did not take long for Kotian and Deshpande to dismiss Aditya Sarwate (3) and Yash Thakur (6). Mumbai were one wicket away from ending an 8-year-long wait for a Ranji Trophy title – which would have been a record-extending 42nd title. Kotian and Deshpande dominated the Vidarbha batsmen and showed no signs of tiring. But Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane thought something else.

He bowled the ball to Dhawal Kulkarni, who was playing his last first-class match. The experienced right-arm fast bowler, who took Vidarbha’s first wicket in the final, did not disappoint. He pitched it up, Umesh Yadav spun across the line and the ball hit the stumps. Kulkarni spread her arms, closed her eyes and let it sink in. His friends were running here and there. Mumbai won the match by 169 runs and along with it also won its 42nd Ranji Trophy title.

Dhawal Kulkarni gets emotional after Ajinkya Rahane’s gesture
Kulkarni, who took three wickets with the new ball in the first innings, knew that this was the last time he would wear the Mumbai jersey. He tried his best but could not control his emotions. Even when his teammates hugged him, tears were streaming down his cheeks.
It was a fitting end for a man who had been an ardent servant of Mumbai cricket for more than a decade and a half. After the match, he said that he did not expect Rahane to hand the ball to him, especially when Deshpande was bowling so well.


“A cricketer’s dream is to start and finish brilliantly. This is my 6th final, the 5th time we have won and it will remain very dear to me. It was an excellent gesture, I did not expect (Rahane to give it) Ball to finish the game), but hats off to Tushar who gave the ball to me despite taking two wickets in an over. I have experience because I have played with big stars, he has shared a lot of experience with me Kulkarni said in the game Said after, and I have given it to the youth also.

Overall, Kulkarni had a memorable final as he took three wickets for just 15 runs in his 11-over spell in the first innings. In the second innings, the 35-year-old gave away runs but eventually Umesh got his first run after losing his wicket to the experienced pacer. He ended his career with 281 wickets in 95 first-class matches. He has also represented India in 12 ODIs and 2 T20Is.

Mumbai Cricket Association felicitated Kulkarni. His wife and children were also with him in the field.

Earlier on the final day, Mumbai were left disappointed when Vidarbha captain Akshay Wadkar and Harsh Dubey fought bravely to ensure that they did not lose a single wicket in the first session while chasing 537.
However, after the dismissal of Wadkar (102), Vidarbha lost their remaining wickets in the space of five overs due to excellent Mumbai bowling.

Mumbai ended their eight-year wait for a Ranji Trophy title with a 169-run win.

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