Irani Cup: Karnewar’s maiden ton gives Vidarbha the lead

Vidarbha’s Akshay Karnewar in action against Rest of India during the Irani Trophy match in Nagpur on February 14, 2019.

Vidarbha’s Akshay Karnewar in action against Rest of India during the Irani Trophy match in Nagpur on February 14, 2019.   | Photo Credit: S. Sudarshan

With Ajinkya Rahane (25) and Hanuma Vihari (40) walking back unbeaten at stumps, the third day’s play ended on an even keel.

Akshay Karnewar’s maiden First Class century (102) gave Vidarbha the unlikely lead but Rest of India, through two of its most accomplished batsmen, fought back to neutralise it and open up the contest at the end of the third day’s play in the Z.R. Irani Cup tournament at the VCA Stadium here on Thursday. 

After conceding a first innings lead of 95, Rest of India was 102 for two with Hanuma Vihari (40 batting) and Ajinkya Rahane (25 batting) surviving a tricky last session on a rapidly deteriorating pitch. 

Pattern on view

Over the three days, a pattern had emerged wherein batting has been at its easiest in the opening session and the left-handed Karnewar made optimum use of the good conditions and ordinary bowling to pulverise the rival bowling into submission and enabled Vidarbha take a handy lead.

Rest of India openers Mayank Agarwal (27) and Anmolpreet Singh (6) perished in the deep, trying to play the attacking strokes but Hanuma Vihari and Ajinkya Rahne showed calmness and patience on a pitch showing variable bounce and turn to forge an unbroken 56-run partnership for the third wicket. 

In the morning, any thought the Rest of India captain Rahane might have had of wrapping up the Vidarbha innings quickly went up in smoke before the aggressive intent of both Akshay Karnewar and Akshay Wadkar. Wadkar had an edgy start but Karenwar was more assured and picked the balls to be hit.

Ankit Rajpoot, who was given an extended spell in the first session, bore the brunt of Karnewar’s aggression. The allrounder smashed three boundaries in an over to wrest control. Wadkar (73) and Karnewar took their seventh-wicket stand to 79 before the former played on to a fuller ball from Rahul Chahar.

Ideal ally

However, Karnewar found an ideal ally in Akshay Wakhare who was willing to graft. After surviving a close shout for lbw off Chahar on 32, Karnewar went into the attack mode. The left-hander thrived on the width offered by spinners and scored freely. 

The pleasing backfoot punches were interspersed with lusty blows through midwicket and he completed his century with a cross-batted heave over midwicket for a six off Dharmendrasinh Jadeja. The opening session yielded 132 runs with Karnewar accounting for 87.

Soon after lunch, Chahar trapped Karnewar (102) in front with a ball that didn’t bounce as much as the batsman shaped for a pull. But the eighth-wicket pair of Karnewar and Wakhare added 76 runs to enable Vidarbha take the lead.

Chahar bowled Wakhare (20) with a googly, but Gurbani (28 n.o.) and Yash Thakur (10) added 39 runs to further frustrate Rest of India.

The scores:

Rest of India — 1st innings: 330.

Vidarbha — 1st innings: Faiz Fazal c Ishan b Gowtham 27, Sanjay Ramaswamy c Vihari b Jadeja 63, Atharwa Taide lbw b Chahar 15, Ganesh Satish lbw b Jadeja 48, Mohit Kale c Ishan b Gowtham 1, Akshay Wadkar b Chahar 73, Aditya Sarvate lbw b Rajpoot 18, Akshay Karnewar lbw b Chahar 102, Akshay Wakhare b Chahar 20, R. Gurbani (not out) 28, Yash Thakur lbw b Rajpoot 10; Extras (b-6, lb-12): 18; Total (in 142.1 overs): 425.

Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-84, 3-146, 4-149, 5-168, 6-226, 7-305, 8-381, 9-386.

Rest of India bowling: Rajpoot 25-3-84-2, Tanveer 25-6-55-0, Gowtham 10-33-2, Dharmendrasinh 40-8-111-2, Chahar 40-9-113-4, Vihari 2-0-12-0.

Rest of India — 2nd innings: M. Agarwal c Kale b Wakhare 27, Anmolpreet c Wakhare b Sarvate 6, Hanuma Vihari (batting) 40, Ajinkya Rahane (batting) 25; Extras (b-4): 4; Total (for two wkts. in 35 overs): 102.

Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-46.

Vidarbha bowling: Sarvate 16-2-45-1, Gurbani 4-1-14-0, Wakhare 8-0-31-1, Karnewar 8-3-8-0.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 7:40:49 PM |

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