Vid have one hand on Ranji Trophy

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Jan 2018 13:48:13


By Anupam Soni,

Ton-up Wadkar ensures big first innings lead

“GOD has not brought Vidarbha this far for losing. If Vidarbha had to miss winning the Ranji Trophy this season, they would not have beaten a team like Karnataka in the semi-finals. It’s all written,” a local cricket lover had said before the start of the final.It seems his prediction is on the right track. Moreover, he had some stats to back his statement.

On this relaid surface at Holkar Stadium, Indore, that was opened this year to competitive cricket, some four matches, including three Ranji Trophy and one CK Nayudu, have been played. All have been won by the team batting second. All have been won by team winning the toss.Vidarbha skipper Faiz Fazal started on a positive with the flip of the coin falling in his favour. They put Delhi in. Now, Vidarbha are almost there, in sight of their biggest glory. All this courtesy their players’ tremendous belief in self. First it was Rajneesh Gurbani and on Sunday it was another young lad — Akshay Wadkar.

It was feared that Vidarbha might lose their way if a couple of wickets fell soon. It did happen. Wasim Jaffer and Akshay Wakhare were back in the hut within nine runs and Vidarbha were 246-6.What happened after that changed the entire course of the match. Two stubborn friends joined forces. Wadkar (133*) and Aditya Sarvate (79), mixed caution and aggression adding 169 for the seventh wicket taking the team to 415 runs. Vidarbha had taken 120 runs lead. The tail was exposed. But it stung hard. Number nine Siddhesh Neral (56*) wielded the willow like a sword. Fortune also favoured the brave. He got out on two occasions but both were declared no-balls. The day ended with Vidarbha ahead by 233 and three wickets still intact.

Much stranger things have happened in this game of glorious uncertainties but still if it is ‘written’, well, then Vidarbha have a hand on that elusive trophy. Three days ago it was not that easy though. Vidarbha had to overcome a tricky selection dilemma — who will replace India pacer Umesh Yadav in the playing eleven? Was it prudent to introduce a young and upcoming fast bowler directly in the final of the tournament they had reached for the first time?
The think-tank followed the instinct and picked Aditya Thakare, a stand-by in India Under-19 World Cup squad. He delivered.

When everybody thought Delhi would stand up on the second day, a certain Rajneesh Gurbani happened. With a hat-trick, Gurbani forced Delhi into submission. It was the turn of the batters to take aim. They have done wonderfully so far. Two more days and whatever is ‘written’ will be in golden letters.