On Saturday, Parthiv Patel led Gujarat defeated Mumbai by five wickets to win their maiden Ranji Trophy title in 83 years and Walter D’Souza, one of the survivors of state 1950/51 squad said the left-handed batsman deserves all the praise in the world and has led by an example to end the title drought.

Playing for Gujarat sixty-six years ago, D’Souza was at the receiving end when CK Nayudu’s Holkar team defeated them to lift the domestic title. On the very same ground in Indore, Parthiv Patel scored an impressive 143 to accomplish the feat.

Speaking to Mid-Day, D’Souza said he never thought of experiencing such a thing in his life ever and that he thank almighty for making him see this day. The 87-year-old D’Souza also heaped some praise on the skipper saying he has been gritty with his approach over the years and also he’s a brave man.

“I never thought I’d live to see this day. I am thankful to the almighty to live to see this day. I always felt that Parthiv is a gritty man, a brave man and he could achieve this win for Gujarat. He has done us proud.”

The man who scored 50 and 77 in the 1950-51 final at the Yeshwant Club ground in Indore said he did not feel Gujarat could pull off a win chasing 311 in the finals. Former batsman said the way Patel approached the innings actually was nothing less than brilliant and that guided them to get over Mumbai on the final day.

“Let’s say it was 50-50. Teams can get carried away and lose wickets, so I was worried about that. But Parthiv was just brilliant. He held the innings together and deserves the highest praise for leading by example.”

Parthiv Patel led Gujarat will now face The Rest of India in the Irani Cup, starting on January 20.


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