As it happened: Irani Cup - Vidarbha vs Rest of India, Day 1

Vidarbha dominated the first day of the Irani Cup tie against Rest of India. The top-order was prolific, with Wasim Jaffer scoring an unbeaten century and Faiz Fazal and R. Sanjay chipping in.

Wasim Jafer scored his 53 first class century and guided Vidarbha to a position of strength on day one of the Irani Cup match against Rest of India.   -  R.V. Moorthy

Welcome to Sportstar's live updates from the Irani Cup. After an all-time high Ranji Trophy, Vidarbha would love to continue its good domestic form and sign off the domestic season on a high.

Toss update: Vidarbha has won the toss and Faiz Fazal has chosen to bat first.

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Faiz Fazal won the toss and everything went right for his team since then. Twin century partnerships for the first two wickets meant it has to be Vidarbha's day today. Join us tomorrow to see if Rest of India employ a different tactic to counter Vidarbha.

4.30 pm: End of the first day's play. Wasim Jaffer and Ganesh Satish have ensured that the Ranji champion have finished the day at a healthy 289/2. The Rest of India players shake hands with Wasim Jaffer, who is unbeaten on 113. He has been rock solid and has played immaculately for his century, his 53rd in first class cricket. Vidarbha has dominated from the word go and the Rest of India fielders were left chasing the red cherry all day.

4.24 pm: Satish dances down the track to Jayant and times it well towards the mid off region for four. Vidarbha 284/2.

4.20 pm: We are almost getting to end of the day's play. Four overs remain in the day as Vidarbha moves to 279/2 after 86 overs. It has been a remarkable day for the Ranji Trophy champion.

4.09 pm: Nadeem strikes and Ganesh Satish has to take the long walk back. He sends one straight to R Ashwin at short midwicket and the umpire stops Satish on his way back. Oh wait! The bowler has overstepped! What a luck for the batsman and despair for the bowler. Satish lives on and lets see if he can make this count. Vidarbha 273/2 (Satish 21, Jaffer 105).

4.00 pm: At the end of 82 overs, Vidarbha 269/2. In the process, Satish and Jaffer have added 51 runs in 83 balls for the third wicket.

The second new ball is available but Karun Nair hasn't opted for it. He hands the old ball to Shahbaz Nadeem.

3.50 pm: End of 80 overs, Vidarbha 265/2 (Wasim Jaffer 101*, Ganesh Satish 18*).

3.45 pm: 100 for Wasim Jaffer. The run machine means business. He tries to cut Jayant Yadav but the ball is too close to him and it takes the edge and flies over the first slip to the fence. It was a difficult chance for the first slip but Jaffer gets to hundred number 53 in style. Wasim Jaffer 100 (137 balls, 15 fours, 1 six).

3.42 pm: Jaffer is in no mood to relent. He whacks one through the midwicket region and gets four more runs. Saini bowls a full length delivery, pitching it on middle and leg and Jaffer doesn't let go of the opportunity. He moves to 95 with that shot as Vidarbha is 258/2.

3.35 pm: Jayant Yadav is back into the attack. The bowler pitches one on the good length area but Satish comes down the track and whacks it over mid off to the boundary. Vidarbha 254/2 in 77 overs.

3.32 pm: Kaul errs by bowling slightly on the leg side and Satish guides the ball to the fine leg fence with minimal touble.

The second new ball is due in five overs.

3.26 pm: Ashwin bowls a tad short and Satish cuts it through the point region for four. Four balls later, Ashwin induces an edge off Jaffer but the ball evades the first slip and races to the fence. Jaffer into the 90s now. Vidarbha 243/2 in 75 overs.

Siddarth Kaul is back into the attack and is now bowling in tandem with Ashwin.

3.20 pm: After 73 overs, Vidarbha 231/2.

3.10 pm: At the end of 71 overs, Vidarbha 224/2 (Jaffer 78, Satish 0).

3.07 pm: Jaffer plays one straight to Ashwin and the ball just flicks Ashwin's fingers and rattles the timber at the other end. Ashwin appeals for a run out and looks like Satish is back safe in his crease. The third umpire, Virender Sharma, confirms the decision as not out.

3.03 pm: Jaffer means business straight away as he flicks Saini through midwicket for four runs.

The final session on day one is underway. Will Vidarbha dominate this session too after gaining the upper hand in the first two? Ganesh Satish joins Wasim Jaffer as Ashwin continues.

At tea: Vidarbha 218/2. Wasim Jaffer 72*.

2.38 pm: Just before tea, Ashwin strikes and Faiz Fazal departs. The southpaw goes for a slog sweep and finds Saini at short fine leg. With the off-spinner troubling the left hander, this was bound to happen. Fazal departs for a well made 89 (190 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) and tea is taken. The 117-run association has come to an end. Fazal is disappointed with that shot and he had to be. A couple of balls later he could have renewed his energy with a tea break but now the Vidarbha skipper has to spend the rest of evening in the dressing room.

2.33 pm: Jaffer milks Saini for two boundaries in an over. He times the first one towards the fine leg boundary and pulls the last ball of the over to the square leg fence. Top class batting from Jaffer as Vidarbha moves to 218/1.

2.27 pm: At the end of 66 overs, Vidarbha is 208/1.

2.23 pm: Fazal looks to be in some kind of a problem here. Saini squares up off an outswinger. The bowler pitches it up on the good length area and with Fazal in no position to play a shot could only watch the ball beat his bat with ease.

2.16 pm: Ashwin is trying to make the ball talk here. He flights one and extracts good bounce that beats Fazal all ends up. Two balls later, an lbw shout and the height saves Fazal. The ball comes in and hits the back leg but it is a tad high, feels Anil Chaudhary.

2.10 pm: Jaffer sends Nadeem to the square leg boundary and brings up the 100-run partnership for the second wicket with Faiz Fazal. It also brings the 200 for Vidarbha. Jaffer on 61 (88) and Fazal on 84 (173) in the middle as Vidarbha moves to 203/1.

2.05 pm: Ashwin is now bowling leg breaks and has a different bowling action all togther. But that hasn't deterred the Vidarbha batsmen a bit.

 

2.01 pm: Fazal and Jaffer have now added 89 runs in 152 balls as Vidarbha reaches 190/1 in the 60th over.

Our correspondent from Nagpur, Amol Karhadkar says: He may have put on weight but Wasim Jaffer hasn't lost his silken touch. The veteran caresses Ashwin through covers for a stylish fifty. Faiz Fazal, meanwhile, has inched closer to another hundred as Vidarbha cruise to 190 for one.

1.58 pm: What a shot by Jaffer and what a way to get to a 50. He eases into a drive off Ashwin, off an inviting half volley, and the ball beats the cover fielder with ease. Jaffer now becomes the second player after G. Viswanath to score six consecutive fifties in the Irani Cup. He is now on 51 off 75 balls.

Nadeem and Ashwin now bowling in tandem.

1.54 pm: Jaffer looks extremely solid in technique. Well, he is solid but has looked extra deft today. He eases into a drive off Jayant, who flights it a tad more, and picks up three. While the bowlers are wilting in the heat, Jaffer and Fazal find the endurance to steal three runs.

Vidarbha is now toying with the Rest of India bowling attack. At the end of 55 overs, Vidarbha is 177/1.

1.47 pm: Jayant Yadav is taken to the cleaners. First it is Fazal who sent a thunderbolt beyond the long off fence and two balls later Jaffer joins the party with a monstrous strike over midon. With the ball turning into Jaffer, the veteran had to just hit it with the turn and get the elevation to perfection.

1.38 pm: Jaffer and Fazal are solid in their defense. The Rest of India bowlers have tried everything but the Vidarbha batsmen have been rock solid. At the end of 53 overs, Vidarbha is 163/1.

1.30 pm: Both batsmen going strong without any signs of struggle. The oppositon, on the other hand, looking lacklustre. Vidarbha 158/1.

Siddharth Kaul is back into the attack. Can he get Rest of India the elusive breakthrough?

1.02 pm: A relatively quiet couple of overs as Vidarbha nudges to 142/1. Fazal on 60 and jaffer on 25 in the middle.

12.49 pm: So close, yet so far! Fazal tries to drive Jayant but gets a thick outside edge and the ball rushes past the slip cordon to the boundary. It was nicely flighted by Jayant but Fazal manages to hold on.

12.44 pm: Jaffer stands tall and punches Saini in the covers. Jaffer looks extremely confident and by the initial looks of it, Rest of India is in for a leather hunt. Jaffer follows that punch with a neat shot off his legs, towards the midwicket region. Perfect balance, getting on top of the ball. Excellent stuff from the veteran as Vidarbha moves to 134/1. An excellent first over after lunch for the Ranji champion.

Navdeep Saini starts the proceedings after lunch.

12.40 pm: The second session is underway and with a high of almost 38 degrees celsius, it would be a task cut out for the Rest of India bowlers and fielders.

In case you missed it: Vidarbha's Ranji Trophy title-winning skipper Faiz Fazal is excited about the prospect of playing against Rest of India in the Irani Cup. You can read more about Fazal living his dream here.

At lunch: Vidarbha 126/1.

12.00 noon: Jayant Yadav finishes off the first session with a tidy over. Vidarbha takes lunch on 126/1 in 39 overs. It is a healthy over rate but it is the runs and the wickets that would bother Rest of India. Faiz Fazal on 53 (107) and Wasim Jaffer on 16 (16) will resume proceedings after a 40-minute break.

This could be the last over of the first session.

11.55 am: And Faiz Fazal brings up his half-century with a cracking boundary. Ominous signs these for Rest of India. At the end of 38 overs, Vidarbha 123/1. Fazal is on 52 off 103 balls with 4 fours.

End of 35 overs, Vidarbha 105/1.

11.48 am: First ball and Jaffer latches on to a drive for four. It was astounding to watch the cover drive.

Wasim Jaffer is the next man in.

11.45 am: Oh what an end! A lapse in concentration and Sanjay Ramaswamy walks back after being dismissed for 53. He is caught by R. Samarth, at short mid-wicket off Jayant, and what a time to lose a wicket, with lunch just round the corner. He is out for 53 off 111 balls with 6 fours and 1 six. Vidarbha 101/1.

The Vidarbha openers bring up the 100-run partnership. The duo have batted for 200 balls with Sanjay contributing 52 runs and Fazal 44.

Jayant Yadav is the new bowler.

With the Indian Premier League fever catching up, in case you missed how the anthem is, you can watch it below.

 

11.40 am: At the end of 33 overs, Vidarbha 98/0. Ashwin walks off the field after the over. Abhimanyu Easwaran is the substitute fielder.

11.38 am: 50-up for Sanjay Ramaswamy. He has reached the landmark in 102 balls with 6 fours and 1 six. He gets forward to a flighted ball from Ashwin and works the ball through midwicket for two runs and brings up his half-century. The Vidarbha bench applauds and Faiz Fazal hugs his opening partner with a pat on the back.

11.32 am: A quiet 15 minutes of play as Vidarbha moves on to 92/0 after 30 overs.

The Irani Cup is instituted in the memory of former BCCI President Zal Irani.

At the end of 25 overs, Vidarbha 81/0.

11.16 am: Ashwin comes around the wicket and the ball thuds on Sanjay's pads. A confident shout from the bowler and the Rest of India fielders. It looked out at first glance, pitching in line, impact in line and hitting wickets as Sanjay misses the sweep, but umpire Anil Chaudhary isn't interested at all. This could be a lucky reprieve for Sanjay.

11.13 am: Easy pickings for Sanjay against Nadeem. The left-hander bangs one short and Sanjay is on it in a flash and sends it to the cover region fence. Vidarbha 79/0 after 24 overs.

11.05 am: Sanjay welcomes him with a huge six over the bowler's head. The batsman, sensing the flight, is down the track in an instant and connects it clean and sends it soaring way beyond the long-off fence. Vidarbha 70/0.

It is now spin from both ends as Karun Nair introduces Shahbaz Nadeem into the attack.

Our correspondent Amol Karhadkar from Nagpur says: Seldom did the Vidarbha opening duo of Faiz Fazal and R. Sanjay look in trouble against the new-ball duo of Navdeep Saini and Siddharth Kaul. And the picture hasn't changed much even with the introduction of R. Ashwin, who joined the squad on Tuesday night. The RoI bowlers could well be in for a long day.

11.00 am: At the end of 20 overs, Vidarbha 61/0.

10.58 am: Fazal it is again. He sends Saini towards the cover region boundary with surgical precision in the second ball of the over and then gets more runs, leg byes though, off the last ball of the over.

10.55 am: Sanjay brings up the 50-run opening partnership in style. He charges down the track to Ashwin and clears mid-on with no trouble and the ball races to the fence. With no turn on offer, it is becoming tough for the slow bowler to force any mistake from the batsmen. At the end of 19 overs, Vidarbha 53/0. (Sanjay 29, Fazal 24).

10.45 am: At the end of 17 overs, Vidarbha is 48/0. Sanjay Ramaswamy on 25 (50 balls, 4 fours) and Faiz Fazal on 23 (52 balls, 2 fours) are solid in the middle.

10.40 am: Saini overpitches a little and Sanjay drives it to the cover-point fence. Immaculate timing. Vidarbha 46/0.

It is very hot in Nagpur, with a maximum of 38 degrees and understandably the players take a small drinks break. 15 overs bowled, Vidarbha 42/0.

 

10.35 am: Fazal gets into the act, this time off Ashwin. He gets down on one leg and sweeps it neat to the square leg fence. With Ashwin, around the wicket, it becomes easy for the southpaw to execute that shot.

10.33 am: Saini pitches in a tad short and Sanjay Ramaswamy launches into a beautiful punch, through the covers and the ball races to the fence. A treat to watch a batsman in full flow! Vidarbha moves to 36/0, with Fazal on 15 and Sanjay on 21 in the middle.

Navdeep Saini replaces Siddharth Kaul. Change of ends for Saini.

10.30 am: After one hour of play, it has been Vidarbha which has taken the upper hand slightly. As they say, the first hour is important and Vidarbha has been largely successful in keeping Rest of India at bay. At the end of 13 overs, Vidarbha 32/0.

10.26 am: A quiet two overs, from Ashwin and Kaul, as Vidarbha is still on 30/0.

Karun Nair has a good record as a captain in first class cricket. He has won 5 matches out the six captained and has lost the lone match.

10.20 am: End of 10 overs, Vidarbha 30/0 (F Fazal 14 (31), R Sanjay 16 (29)).

Some of the top performers in the Irani Cup. Wasim Jaffer with 1008 runs, G Viswanath 1001 runs, Dilip Vengsarkar 779 runs.

We have the first bowling change. Ravichandran Ashwin is introduced into the attack.

10.10 am: At the end of 8 overs, Vidarbha is 22/0.

10.06 am: Kaul has been shaping up well. He pitches one in line and the ball angles in and thuds onto Fazal's pads. There is half-a-shout from the fielders but it is, probably, the height that has saved the batsman.

Vidarbha, which bagged its maiden Ranji crown out of the blue in January, will have an edge over a star-studded RoI outfit due to two major factors: home advantage and more importantly, with the inclusion of India speedster Umesh Yadav, who missed the Ranji final. Our correspondent Amol Karhadkar from Nagpur, with this preview.

9.48 am: A steady start from Vidarbha. The openers have been solid and haven't let Rest of India a sniff at an early inroad, so far. At the end of 4 overs, Vidarbha is 8/0.

Vidarbha's openers have been in great form in the Ranji Trophy, one of its secret of its success. Some of the notable stands the openers have produced in the Ranji Trophy are - 61(vs Punjab), 148 (vs Services), 259 (vs Bengal), 264 (vs HP) and 96 (vs Delhi), in the final.

Wishing Vidarbha's Apoorv Wankhade a very Happy Birthday.

9.35 am: Siddarth Kaul partners Saini with the new ball. Vidarbha 1/0 after the first over.

9.30 am: Naveep Saini with the new ball. Fazal takes strike.

Anil Chaudhary and Nandan, both on ICC panel, are the gentlemen officiating the match.

9.25 am: Faiz Fazal and Sanjay Ramaswamy walk out as the Rest of India team follow the Vidarbha openers.

The playing XIs:

 

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Vidarbha, which bagged its maiden Ranji crown out of the blue in January, will have an edge over a star-studded RoI outfit due to two major factors: home advantage and more importantly, with the inclusion of India speedster Umesh Yadav, who missed the Ranji final. In case, you missed reading the preview, click here for it.

Rest of India is boosted with the return of Ravichandran Ashwin, who missed the Deodhar Trophy, with an injury.

The squads:

Vidarbha: Faiz Fazal (Capt.), R. Sanjay, Wasim Jaffer, Ganesh Satish (Vice-capt.), Apoorv Wankhede, Siddhesh Wath, Akshay Wadkar (wk), Aditya Sarvae, Akshay Karnewar, Akshay Wakhare, Karn Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Rajneesh Gurbani, Yash Thakur, Aditya Thakare, Atharva Taide.

Rest of India: Karun Nair (Capt.), Prithvi Shaw, Abhimanyu Easwaran, R. Samarth, Mayank Agarwal, G. Hanuma Vihari, K.S. Bharat (wk), R. Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Anmolpreet Singh, Siddharth Kaul, Ankit Rajpoot, Navdeep Saini, Atit Sheth.