In a pulsating culmination to the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023, Haryana etched their name in history by capturing their maiden title after a gripping 30-run victory over Rajasthan. The Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Stadium in Rajkot witnessed a spectacular display of cricketing prowess as Haryana emerged triumphant, signaling the arrival of a new force in domestic one-day cricket.
The Batting Masterclass: Ankit Kumar and Ashok Menaria Shine
Choosing to bat first in the title clash, Haryana set a formidable target with a total of 287/8. Opener Ankit Kumar displayed exemplary composure, notching up a crucial 88 runs, laying the foundation for Haryana’s innings. Despite losing early wickets, Kumar found a valuable ally in skipper Ashok Menaria, who anchored the middle order with a solid 70 runs off 96 balls.
The pivotal partnership between Menaria and Kumar, amassing 124 runs, showcased the resilience and determination of Haryana. Additional contributions from Rohit Pramod Sharma, Nishant Sindhu, Rahul Tewatia, and Sumit Kumar propelled the team toward the 300-run mark. Aniket Choudhary emerged as Rajasthan’s standout bowler, claiming four wickets, but Haryana’s total set the stage for an enthralling contest.
Rajasthan’s Spirited Chase and Haryana’s Bowling Brilliance
In pursuit of 288, Rajasthan faced an uphill battle from the onset, losing three wickets for just 12 runs in 5.1 overs. Sumit Kumar’s early breakthroughs, dismissing Raj Mohan Chouhan, Mahipal Lomror, and Deepak Hooda, provided Haryana with a flying start.
Despite the early setbacks, Rajasthan showed resilience through a commendable partnership between Abhijeet Tomar and Karan Lamba, followed by a significant stand with Kunal Singh Rathore. Tomar’s remarkable century (106 runs) and Rathore’s explosive 79-run innings breathed life into Rajasthan’s chase.
However, the turning point came when Harshal Patel secured the crucial wicket of Tomar. Post Tomar’s departure, Rajasthan’s innings unravelled, eventually succumbing to 257 all-out in 48 overs. Sumit Kumar and Harshal Patel shared the bowling honors, clinching three wickets each and ensuring Haryana’s historic triumph.
Historic Win and Future Implications
This monumental victory not only secured Haryana’s first-ever Vijay Hazare Trophy but also marks a significant milestone in the team’s cricketing journey. For Rajasthan, the defeat adds to the agony of finishing as runners-up for the second time since the 2006-07 edition.