July 03 2020
Ranji Trophy: Saurashtra has reason to smile
04 February 2019

Restricts Vidarbha by inducing bad shots and denying meaningful partnerships

Accurate bowling by the visiting outfit, a reckless run-out and a couple of bad shots by the home team was the highlight of the opening day of an absorbing first day’s play of the Ranji Trophy final here on Sunday.

Despite the toss favouring Vidarbha, the Saurashtra camp was the happier of the two at the VCA Stadium, having restricted the home team to 200 for seven.

On a slow Jamtha pitch, Vidarbha had to make the most of the coin landing in Faiz Fazal’s favour by digging deep.

However, the left-arm pace duo of captain Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya bowled nagging lines and length to stifle Fazal and his opening partner R. Sanjay.

Sakariya softened Sanjay up with a bouncer that thudded into his helmet.

And, in the next over, Sanjay poked at Unadkat and Arpit Vasavada took an excellent low catch at first slip.


Even before run-machine Wasim Jaffer could get his eye in, Fazal committed harakiri while running between the wickets to leave Vidarbha reeling at 29 for two.

With a defensive prod off Unadkat deflecting to backward square-leg, Fazal called Jaffer for a second, but perhaps thinking that the throw would be at the veteran partner’s end, Fazal slowed down half-way down the pitch.

Sakariya, instead, targeted the striker’s end. Fazal was taken by surprise and well short of his crease when Snell Patel dislodged the bails.

Jaffer then started ‘mission resurrection’, flicking Prerak Mankad through square-leg and charging down the wicket to lift left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja for a six.

But, just when a partnership was developing between the veteran and rookie Mohit Kale, Unadkat came back for a second burst and enticed Jaffer into poking at one in the perfect channel to burst into a prolonged celebration.

The lack of meaningful partnerships continued to haunt Vidarbha. Kale and Ganesh Satish couldn’t convert their starts, with the diminutive Kale being unable to deal with the additional bounce derived by offie Kamlesh Makvana.

Ganesh was caught in two minds before edging Mankad to the ’keeper just after tea. All-rounder Aditya Sarvate then played an ambitious sweep off Jadeja for a blob to leave Vidarbha reeling at 139 for six.

Only good stand

Then came the only 50-plus partnership, between Akshay Wadkar and Akshay Karnewar. But with three overs remaining for stumps, Wadkar’s mistimed cut off Sakariya lobbed to point and ensured none of the five Saurashtra bowlers went wicket-less for the day.

With Saurashtra opting for the second new ball only in the last over, the Vidarbha tail has the tall task of bailing the team out of trouble on the second morning.

The scores:

Vidarbha — 1st innings: Faiz Fazal run out 16, R. Sanjay c Vasavada b Unadkat 2, Wasim Jaffer c Snell b Unadkat 23, Mohit Kale c Desai b Makvana 35, Ganesh Satish c Snell b Mankad 32, Akshay Wadkar c Mankad b Sakariya 45, Aditya Sarvate c Desai b Jadeja 0, Akshay Karnewar (batting) 31, Akshay Wakhare (batting) 0; Extras (b-5, lb-11): 16. Total (for seven wkts. in 90 overs): 200.

Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-29, 3-60, 4-106, 5-134, 6-139.

Saurashtra bowling: Unadkat 16-7-26-2, Sakariya 14-7-13-1, Mankad 18-7-27-1, Jadeja 25-5-72-1, Makvana 17-0-46-1.



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