Irani Cup: Wadkar leads Vidarbha’s late fightback

Vidarbha's Akshay Wadkar in action on day 2 of the Irani Trophy match against Rest of India in Nagpur on February 13, 2019.

Vidarbha's Akshay Wadkar in action on day 2 of the Irani Trophy match against Rest of India in Nagpur on February 13, 2019.   | Photo Credit: S. Sudarshan

Vidarbha’s hopes for a crucial first-innings lead hinges on his blade on the third morning.

The late-order revivals have been the cornerstone of Virdarbha’s success this season. Against Rest of India, it was the turn of wicketkeeper-batsman Akshay Wadkar (50 batting) to lead the fightback on an intense day that saw Rest of India spinners chip away at the Vidarbha’s top-order.

The host, in reply to RoI’s first innings total of 330, was 245 for six at stumps on the second day at the VCA Stadium here on Wednesday. Ankit Rajpoot struck with the new ball late in the day to end an enterprising 68-run sixth-wicket stand between Wadkar and Aditya Sarvate (18) to have the visitors in front.

Spinners to the fore

The Rol spinners teased and tempted the home batsmen to their doom. They began the slide after Vidarbha’s captain Faiz Fazal and Sanjay Ramaswamy had given their side a solid start with a 50-run stand for the first wicket. 

After blunting the new ball from medium-pacers, Fazal and Sanjay scored with a little more freedom against the spinners. But K. Gowtham had Fazal feathering a catch to Ishan Kishan when the batsmen pushed forward to a delivery which held its line. 

Atharwa Taide, who replaced Jaffer in the squad, looked ill at ease at the start but was slowly getting into his groove when he played across to a straight ball from Rahul Chahar and was trapped in front.

Ganesh Satish joined Sanjay to begin a phase in which the home side dominated the bowling. Satish was adventurous. He thwacked a full toss from Chahar over the bowler’s head to show his intentions clear. Satish continued to attack and it rubbed on to his partner Sanjay who hit a few crisp drives on the onside to reach his fifty. 

Slice of luck

Sanjay had a slice off luck on 63 when Chahar couldn’t latch on to a return catch. But the batsman couldn’t cash in on the reprieve as he drove in the air to be caught by Vihari at short-cover for 65. 

Mohit Kale (1) shaped for a cut off Gowtham and the faint edge nestled into Ishan’s body and the ’keeper completed the catch while falling over. Umpire Nandan, who was unsure initially, referred the decision after consulting his partner Nithin Menon. Kale didn’t look happy with the decision. 

Satish (48), after hammering Jadeja for a boundary, played back and was trapped in front to leave Vidarbha in trouble at 168 for five. However, Gowtham’s absence due to a shoulder injury saw the sixth-wicket stand prosper. 

Wadkar punished the loose offering from both Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Chahar to reach his fifty.

The scores:

Rest of India — 1st innings: 330.

Vidarbha — 1st innings: Faiz Fazal c Ishan b Gowtham 27, Sanjay Ramaswamy c Vihari b Jadeja 65, Atharwa Taide lbw b Chahar 15, Ganesh Satish lbw b Jadeja 48, Mohit Kale c Ishan b Gowtham 1, Akshay Wadkar (batting) 50, Aditya Sarvate lbw b Rajpoot 18, Akshay Karnewar (batting) 15; Extras (lb-6): 6; Total (for six wkts. in 90 overs): 245.

Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-84, 3-146, 4-149, 5-168, 6-226.

Rest of India bowling: Rajpoot 16-3-43-1, Tanveer 14-4-29-0, Gowtham 10-33-2, Dharmendrasinh 27-6-63-2, Chahar 23-5-68-1.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 10:23:52 PM |

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