Rajneesh Gurbani ended a 45-year-old drought on Saturday by claiming his maiden hat-trick on Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy final between Vidarbha and Delhi at Indore.Right-arm medium pacer Gurbani is only the second bowler after Tamil Nadu’s B Kalyanasundaram to take three wickets of successive deliveries as Vidarbha bowled out Delhi for 295.Kalyanasundaram had achieved the feat against Bombay in the 1972-73 season but still ended up on the losing side.Gurbani first removed Navdeep Saini with the final ball of the 101st over and then came back to dismiss centurion Dhruv Shorey and tail-ender Kulwant Khejroliya first the first two balls of the 103rd over to wrap up Delhi’s first innings.He is also the third bowler to take a hat-trick for Vidarbha after Pritam Gadhe, who’s done it twice in 1993/94 and 2008/09 seasons, and Umesh Yadav (2015/16 season).The 24-year-old has just carried on from where he left in the previous match against Karnataka in which he starred with a 12-wicket haul.Gurbani got 4 for 94 in the first innings and 7 for 68 in the second as Vidarbha beat Karnataka by 5 runs to book their maiden berth in the final.”The advantage that I find in my bowling is that I get swing, so I just want to put the ball in the right areas. If I do that I know the ball will swing the way I want, and I try to keep it as near to the stump (on the off-stump and fourth stump) as I can,” Gurbani told bcci.tv after the semi-final win.advertisementReflecting on his maiden ten-wicket haul and Vidarbha’s dream season, Gurbani said “It is a dream come true. I always wanted to take a ten-wicket haul in a match. I didn’t know it would come in a semi-final match at such a crucial moment. When I took the ten-wicket haul I wasn’t aware of it. I wasn’t thinking about the number of wickets I was taking. All I wanted was to take wickets and hope that my team would win.”When we started the season, we were focused on winning the trophy our focus was on becoming champions and nothing else. When we face a problem, we are always together as a team. And from the first match we have been following a particular routine and that has also helped us carry the momentum,” he said while looking back on the season so far.Earlier, Shorey roared back to form with a stylish century to revive Delhi and steer his side to 271/6 at stumps on the first day after they were put into bat.Shorey, who had earlier scored three fifties in Delhi’s Ranji Trophy campaign this season, was not out on 123 off 256 balls as the two teams shared the honours.The 25-year-old, who walked into bat in the very first over of the match following Kunal Chandela’s dismissal, survived testing opening spells by the Vidarbha seamers before opening up himself at the Holkar Stadium.Shorey added 105 runs for the fifth wicket with Himmat Singh, who produced a fluent 66 off 72 balls with the help of eight boundaries and two sixes.
If Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open semi-final win over Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas was one-sided, Novak Djokovic showed he could be even more brutal in his victory against Lucas Pouille on Friday. Nadal had taken an hour and 46 minutes to wrap up victory on Thursday, while giving away just six games to the 20-year-old Tsitsipas.Rafael Nadal’s dominance over an opponent who had turned heads at Melbourne Park with his daredevil approach was remarkable and meant Djokovic had a point to prove when he took to the court against Pouille.Six-time champion Djokovic did not disappoint. He took 23 minutes and two games fewer than Nadal to storm into his seventh Australian Open final with a 6-0 6-2 6-2 demolition job.Asked if he went into his semi-final with the intention of conceding fewer games than Nadal, Djokovic replied with a broad grin: “Yes. It was hard to do that, but somehow managed.”He (Nadal) has played impressively well throughout the entire tournament. He hasn’t dropped a set. He looked as good as ever on the hardcourt throughout these few weeks. I haven’t played bad myself the last couple matches.”There’s no place on the court he can’t [email protected] finds the line on a brilliant forehand for the @cpaaustralia Shot of the Day.#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/qYtvlWcM9Q#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 25, 2019Spaniard David Ferrer won only five games against Djokovic in the 2013 semi-finals, but Friday’s match was even more lop-sided. The Serb committed five unforced errors, 22 fewer than Pouille, while also hitting six winners more.advertisementDjokovic said he played perfectly from the first to the last point and felt “divine” on court.”You just happen to be in that zone that we all strive for,” he said. “Every professional athlete wants to be in the zone, where everything flows so effortlessly and you are executing automatically everything you are intending to execute.”You don’t need to think too much. I guess you’re driven by some force that takes over you and you feel divine, you feel like in a different dimension. It’s quite an awesome feeling that we all try to reach and stay in.””Today was a perfect match for me from the first to the last point. I executed everything that I intended to and even more than I have expected.”@DjokerNole #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/E9QQMu8pgI#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 25, 2019Sometimes you just have to say too good… Stunning match from you @DjokerNole , that’s why you’re the World Number 1. I had an incredible time here at the @AustralianOpen and the season is just starting so #Allez ( @antoinecouvercelle ) pic.twitter.com/p0HkeFaXzjLucas Pouille (@la_pouille) January 25, 2019’BIGGEST RIVAL’The last time Djokovic faced Nadal, who has won 17 Grand Slam titles, at the Rod Laver Arena, the Serb won a five-hour-53-minute epic at the 2012 tournament, the longest Grand Slam final on [email protected] on @RafaelNadal: “Nadal has historically throughout my life and career been the greatest rival that I ever played against on all the surfaces.”at the ready.#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/EUQ0HvSmtA#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 25, 2019Djokovic said battles against Nadal over the years have made the Serb the player he is today.It’s all setup for another #AusOpen classic.Immerse yourself in what is to come by reliving the 2012 final between @DjokerNole and @RafaelNadal here: https://t.co/Bf3wGb8ghO pic.twitter.com/p3oiTODxpE#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 25, 2019″He’s my biggest rival in my career. I’ve played so many matches against him, epic matches on this court,” said Djokovic, the winner of 14 major titles.”Of course, the one that stands out was the final… in 2012. Hopefully we don’t go that long this time. But I’m sure we’re going to have a good final.”These are the kind of matches that you live for, finals of Slams, playing the greatest rivals at their best. What more can you ask for? This is where you want to be.”Also Read | Novak Djokovic’s 4-year-old son had a simple message for him: Make sure you winAlso Watch: