Saurashtra bowlers shine on Day 1

Vidarbha's big gun Wasim Jaffer failed to fire on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy final against Saurashtra in Nagpur on Sunday. PTI

Vidarbha’s fortunes moved up and down just like the two-paced opening day’s surface as Saurashtra edged ahead after being asked to bowl first by the hosts in the Ranji Trophy final.

While the pitch was on the slower side, the discipline of Saurashtra bowlers and the lack of application by some of the home batsmen combined to hand visitors an early advantage here at the VCA’s Jamtha Stadium on Sunday. At stumps of an extended first day’s play, Vidarbha had reached 200/7 in 90 overs, a relatively better position after they were left reeling at 139 for six in the immediacy of tea.

Vidarbha’s strategy has been to pile big total by batting first and put the opposition under pressure straightaway. It, therefore, came as no surprise when they opted to bat first after winning the toss on a chilly winter morning.

Though the pitch sported a grassy look, it wasn’t spiteful. Saurashtra pace spearhead and skipper Jaydev Unadkat did extract some discomforting bounce and movement off the seam to trouble the Vidarbha openers. Though not entirely convincing, Faiz Fazal and Sanjay Ramaswamy somehow seemed to be tiding over the tough phase when Unadkat gave the breakthrough. Sanjay went after an away going delivery and only managed an edge that carried to Arpit Vasavada at first slip to complete a smart catch which was confirmed fair in replays.

Fazal paid the price for being casual while running between the wickets. The skipper after calling for a second showed no urgency to reach to the crease and watched in horror as a Chetan Sakariya’s accurate throw to stumper Snell Patel caught him short. It was a poor piece of cricket.

Jaffer, who had survived a close call for an lbw decision when on three, then suffered a rare blip in concentration and chased one from Unadkat that angled away from him. The nick was gleefully taken by Snell behind the wickets and the over-the-top celebrations showed how big was the wicket. Saurashtra went for lunch at 67/3.

The second session was much better for Vidarbha as they lost just one wicket in Mohit Kale while 63 runs.

The third session began on a disastrous note with Saurashtra dismissing set batsman Ganesh Satish (32) and Aditya Sarwate (0) in quick succession. Akshay Wadkar (45) and Akshay Karnewar (31) then forged an alliance of 57 runs but an ill-advised shot from the former put an end to the partnership.

SCORE BOARD

VIDARBHA (I Innings): Faiz Fazal run out 16 (35b, 2x4), R Sanjay c Vasavada b Unadkat 2 (18b), Wasim Jaffer c Snell b Unadkat 23 (67b, 1x4, 1x6), Mohit Kale c Desai b Makvana 35 (126b, 4x4), Ganesh Satish c Snell b Mankad 32 (86b, 1x4, 1x6), Akshay Wadkar c Mankad b Sakariya 45 (115b, 5x4), Aditya Sarwate c Desai b D Jadeja 0 (11b), Akshay Karnewar (batting) 31 (71b, 3x4, 1x6), Akshay Wakhare (batting) 0 (11b). Extras (B-5, LB-11) 16. Total (for 7 wkts, 90 overs) 200.

Fall of wickets: 1-21 (Sanjay), 2-29 (Fazal), 3-60 (Jaffer), 4-106 (Kale), 5-134 (Ganesh), 6-139 (Sarwate), 7-196 (Wadkar).

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

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Saurashtra bowlers shine on Day 1

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