Dhawal Kulkarni Bows Out in Style, Helps Mumbai Win Ranji Trophy

Dhawal Kulkarni Bows Out in Style, Helps Mumbai Win Ranji Trophy

Dhawal Kulkarni, the veteran Mumbai pacer, bid farewell to his illustrious career on a high note, helping his team clinch the Ranji Trophy title with a memorable wicket.

Kulkarni, who had expressed his desire to end his career on a high, was given the honor of bowling the final over by captain Ajinkya Rahane. With Vidarbha needing just 10 runs to win, Kulkarni rattled the stumps of Umesh Yadav, sparking wild celebrations among the Mumbai players.

The emotional Kulkarni was hailed as a hero in the post-match ceremony, and his teammates hoisted him on their shoulders in front of the home crowd. It was a fitting tribute to a player who had given his all for Mumbai over the past 17 years.

Kulkarni, who made his Mumbai debut in 2007, leaves the team after representing them in 208 matches across formats. He has taken 281 wickets in 95 first-class appearances, 223 wickets in 130 List-A games, and 154 wickets in 162 T20s.

Despite his impressive domestic record, Kulkarni felt he could have had more opportunities to represent India. However, he refused to dwell on the past, saying, “What’s gone is gone. I look at the future [rather] than what’s happened in the past.”

Kulkarni’s never-say-die attitude and longevity for Mumbai were lauded by his captain, Ajinkya Rahane. “Playing for 17 years for Mumbai is not easy. But the commitment and determination with which he has played day-in day-out every year has been amazing,” Rahane said.

Kulkarni’s retirement marks the end of an era for Mumbai cricket. He was a key member of the team’s golden generation, which won five Ranji Trophy titles in six years. His experience and leadership will be sorely missed by the team.

However, Kulkarni is not done with cricket yet. He plans to give back to the sport that has given him so much, whether it be through coaching or another role. “I’ve not thought about it much but cricket has given me so much that I want to give it back to the game,” Kulkarni said.

Mumbai Dominate Vidarbha, Rahane Shines with Half-Century

Mumbai Dominate Vidarbha, Rahane Shines with Half-Century

Mumbai’s dominance over Vidarbha continued on the second day of their Ranji Trophy encounter, as they extended their lead to a commanding 260 runs. Resuming on 31 for 3, Vidarbha’s hopes of a competitive total were dashed by a disciplined Mumbai bowling attack.

Dhawal Kulkarni, in his final Ranji Trophy appearance, led the charge with three wickets, including the crucial scalp of in-form Atharva Taide. Shams Mulani and Tanush Kotian shared six wickets between them, as Vidarbha were bundled out for a paltry 105 in just 45.3 overs.

In response, Mumbai’s openers Prithvi Shaw and Bhupen Lalwani fell cheaply, leaving Ajinkya Rahane and Musheer Khan at the crease. The duo initially struggled against the Vidarbha bowlers, but gradually found their rhythm.

Rahane, in particular, showed signs of improvement after a difficult season. He played a series of elegant shots, including a trademark flick through midwicket and a superb square drive, to reach his second half-century of the campaign.

Musheer Khan provided solid support, scoring an unbeaten 51. Together, they put on an unbroken 107-run partnership to guide Mumbai to 141 for 2 at stumps.

With three full days remaining, Mumbai are in a commanding position. Rahane’s return to form and the team’s overall dominance will give them confidence as they look to secure a victory and keep their Ranji Trophy hopes alive.

Dhawal Kulkarni Leads Mumbai's Fightback in Ranji Trophy Final

Dhawal Kulkarni Leads Mumbai’s Fightback in Ranji Trophy Final

Veteran pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, who had announced his retirement from first-class cricket at the end of the season, was unexpectedly called upon to play his 96th and final match for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy final against Vidarbha.

Kulkarni, who had played only three matches and taken seven wickets this season, had been primarily serving as a mentor to the team’s other seamers. However, with Mohit Avasthi ruled out due to injury, Kulkarni was given a chance to lead Mumbai’s bowling attack.

On the first day of the final, Kulkarni made an immediate impact, dismissing Aman Mokhade and Karun Nair in an incisive spell. He continued his impressive performance on Day 2, taking the wicket of Atharva Taide to give Mumbai their first breakthrough.

Kulkarni’s performance was a testament to his experience and skill, and he was given a guard of honor by his Mumbai teammates on the first day of the final. The Indian cricket board’s domestic handle shared a video of the moment on Twitter.

Kulkarni’s final first-class match was a fitting end to a successful career. He has been a key member of the Mumbai team for many years, and his contributions have helped them win numerous titles. He will be remembered as one of the most successful bowlers in Indian domestic cricket.

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