As it happened: Irani Cup - Vidarbha vs Rest of India, Day 4

Rest of India ended Day Four on 236 for 6 in 77 overs, still trailing by 564 runs.

Vidarbha's Apoorv Wankhade joined the party with a sublime century.   -  Vivek Bendre

Good morning.

It is the weekend and welcome to Sportstar's live coverage of the Irani Cup match between Vidarbha and Rest of India. It has been a three horrid days for Rest of India as it was sent on a leather hunt by the Vidarbha batsmen, having amassed 702 for the loss of five wickets in three days. In all likelihood, we will see a declaration in the morning session and Rest of India has a mountain to climb.

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Although a wicket has continued to elude Vidarbha in this last phase of play, the day and the contest belongs to it. Gurbani & Co. had reduced Rest of India to 97 for 6 at one stage, on what can be termed a true and gentle batting track.

Vihari, though, has led the resistance alongside Jayant Yadav in a useful partnership of 138 runs. Though still far from restoring parity for their team, the two have mitigated to an extent the one-sidedness of the contest.

Will they continue in the same vein tomorrow? Stay tuned to Sportstar to find out; we'll be live by 9.15 am, when the fifth day's play starts.

5.23 pm: END OF DAY'S PLAY. Rest of India 236/6 in 77 overs.

Out of nowhere, Vihari, who has looked unruffled at the batting crease, survives a scare when he gently lobs Wakhare, almost guiding the ball into the hands of Gurbani at mid-off. The ball seemed to have stopped on the batsman as it bounced, leaving Vihari playing the off-drive too early. The diving Gurbani grabbed the ball after it bounced in front of him.

5.15 pm: Rest of India continues serenely on, to reach 235 for 6 after 75 overs. Hanuma Vihari is looking confident at the crease, gently playing Wakhare and Sarvate. He strikes a sweet boundary down the ground, coming down the track with some precise and solid footwork.

5.02 pm: End of 71 overs, Rest of India 221/6, 579 runs behind Vidarbha's first innings total of 800.

4.53 pm: A landmark for Jayant Yadav. He gets to a 50. Pushes Rajneesh Gurbani for a single and gets to the landmarkl. End of 69 overs, Rest of India 212/6. Vihari on 69 and Jayant on 50 in the middle.

4.42 pm: 200-up for Rest for India in 66.2 overs. Hanuma Vihari on 69 and Jayant Yadav on 38 in the middle.

4.30 pm: Finally a 100-run partnership for Rest of India. They needed it at the top order but nevertheless it has come for the 7th wicket. Vihari takes a single off Umesh Yadav to backward squareleg and brings up the landmark. The duo have played 223 balls for the 100-run partnership. RoI 198/6.

4.25 pm: Umesh Yadav is into the attack. Five runs scored off Umesh's over. RoI 195/6.

4.17 pm: Faiz Fazal introduces Sanjay Ramaswamy into the attack and Vihari sends the ball to the boundary, in the cover region, in a flash. RoI 183/6.

4.10 pm: Sarwate up with some negative line to Vihari and Jayant.  Vihari pads one and ignores another. Two balls later, Sarwate tactics almost paid dividends when Vihari edges one but the silly point fielder was a tad late to react. 59 overs bowled, Rest of India 174/6, trailing Vidarbha by 626 runs.

4.00 pm: A steady partnership between Vihari and Jayant. The association is worth 66 so far and they are trying to left Rest of India out of the dumps. Vihari has got to a 50, pushing it to deep square leg for a single, off Wakhare. His 23rd First Class fifty. He has played 111 balls so far. Rest of India 164/6.

3.41 pm: After 50 overs, Rest of India is 146/6, 645 runs behind Vidarbha's humongous total of 800.

3.35 pm: End of 48 overs, RoI 144/6, trailing Vidarbha by 656 runs.

3.30 pm: The third and the final session of play is underway. Akshay Wakhare to resume the proceedings.

3.11 pm: That's the end of second session. Vidarbha is on top having reduced Rest of India to 141/6, 659 runs behind its mammoth total of 800. Four wickets in the session has dented Rest of India's progress and the Ranji champion is on the verge of taking a huge first innings lead. See you in about 20 minutes time when Hanuma Vihari (34 off 80 balls, 5 fours) and Jayant Yadav (14 off 58 balls, 2 fours) will resume.

We are nearing the end of the second session. Sarwate with the ball and will most likely be the last over before tea.

3.05 pm: At the end of 45 overs, RoI struggling at 139/6, trailing by a mammoth 661 runs.

28 overs have been bowled in the session so far. Rest of India has managed to score just 84 runs and more importantly, it has lost 4 wickets.

2.45 pm: Rajneesh Gurbani is back into the attack. He has been at his best today. Jayant Yadav latches onto an overpitched delivery and creams it to the cover region boundary. Rest of India 136/6, trailing Vidarbha by 664 runs.

2.27 pm: Vihari times one through the mid-wicket region for four. It was a full length delivery and Vihari times it well. RoI 117/6.

2.15 pm: Hanuma Vihari and Jayant Yadav have a job on their hands. At the end of 33 overs, Rest of India 112/6, trailing Vidarbha by 688 runs.

Rest of India in total shambles. This has totally been Vidarbha's dominant domestic season.

2.02 pm: At drinks, RoI 104-6. Gurbani has registered a four-wicket haul. He is breathing fire and has figures of 9-2-23-4 now!

1.45 pm: A big wicket for Vidarbha. Ravichandran Ashwin departs for 8. Gurbani bowls a beautiful outswinger and Ashwin edges it to Faiz Fazal at first slip. This is a huge wicket and Rest of India tottering at 98/6.  Absolute carnage from Vidarbha, both with the bat and ball.

1. 34 pm: Another wicket for Vidarbha. Rajneesh Gurbani on fire. Srikar Bharat is cleaned up by the young pacer for a duck. What a delivery. RoI is at 90/5.

1.31 pm: The skipper departs! Karun Nair is caught behind the stumps by Wadkar off Gurbani. Rest of India is reeling at 90/4.

1.25 pm: After 24 overs, RoI 87/3. Karun Nair on 19 (43 balls, 4 fours) and Hanuma Vihari on 5 (17 balls, 1 four) in the middle. Rest of India trails by a mammoth 713 runs.

1.12 pm: Textbook shot from Vihari. Thakare bowls wide, outside off and Vihari leans into the drive through the cover region. He picked up the gap between mid-off and covers with superb timing.

1.10 pm: End of 21 overs, RoI 83/3, trailing Vidarbha by 717 runs.

 

Hanuma Vihari joins skipper Karun Nair in the middle.

1.03 pm: A lapse in concentration and Prithvi Shaw pays the price. He tries to cut Thakare and finds Wankhade at gully. The ball angled in, was a fraction shot and wasn't wide, and Shaw was in no position to play the cut shot and ended up playing the shot close to his body. Wankhade takes the catch on the second attempt. A big wicket for Vidarbha and they are over the moon. Rest of India loses its third wicket for just 77 on the board, trailing Vidarbha by 723 runs.

12.58 pm: 50 for Prithvi Shaw. It has come in 62 balls with 7 fours and 1 six. Rest of India needs Shaw to carry on and convert this 50 into a huge score. He looks to be in good touch, timing the ball well and finding the gaps with surgical precision. Rest of India would need more from this protege. RoI 77/2.

12.55 pm: Shaw closes in on a 50. He looks to drive Thakare in the covers but gets an edge and the ball races away to the fence between the gully and slip cordon. Shaw moves to 45.

12.54 pm: Karun smacks another boundary, this time off Wakhare. He makes room and drives it inside out in the covers. Karun on song. RoI 67/2.

12.50 pm: Karun Nair cuts loose. He times one through the covers and steers one through the point region for boundaries, both off Aditya Thakare. RoI 62/2.

12.40 pm: The players and the umpires walk out. An important session for both the teams. While Vidarbha would want quick wickets and consolidate its position, RoI would desperately need Shaw and Karun to see through the entire session.

12.01 pm: Lunch on day 4. Rest of India crawls to 52/2 in 14 overs, trailing Vidarbha by 748 runs. This is yet another session that has belonged to the Ranji Trophy champion. On a small positive for RoI, Prithvi Shaw looks confident and is timing the ball well. RoI needs a big score from the young lad. See you in about 40 minutes time!

Sarwate, in all probability, bowling the last over of the morning session.

11.50 am: Sarwate doesn't have a good start. Shaw finds the boundary twice — through the point and through sweeper cover — and Sarwate needs to put his thinking cap asap. Two balls later, Shaw latches on to this one and sends it soaring beyond the deep midwicket boundary. The first six for RoI and it is a horrid start for Sarwate. At the end of 12 overs, RoI 46/2.

Aditya Thakare and Adithya Sarwate are pressed into the attack. So, it is spin from one end.

11:42 am: The lunch is just around the corner and the onus will be on Shaw and skipper Karun Nair to ensure that there are no more casualties. RoI 29/2.

11.30 am: 7 overs bowled, RoI 21/2.

The captain Karun Nair is the next man in.

11.27 am: Umesh Yadav strikes. He induces Mayank Agarwal to edge one to first slip where Sanjay Ramaswamy takes a neat catch. The ball just came in a little and took the leading edge. No footwork from the batsman. He was stuck in his crease. Rest of India in a spot of bother at 21/2. Mayank has to depart for 11 (18). This is a big wicket, considering the form Mayank has been in.

11.20 am: Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw have begun consolidating the innings. At the end of 5 overs , RoI 18/1.

11.08 am: Umesh strays a bit on the leg side again and Shaw guides the ball to the square leg fence. Two balls later, Mayank guides one to third man for four. At the end of 3 overs, RoI 13/1.

Mayank Agarwal in the middle.

11.02 am: Gurbani strikes. Samarth departs for no score. Samarth lobs a catch to Aditya Sarwate at short midwicket and Gurbani strikes with his second ball. Rest of India jolted at 4/1. Samarth wanted to flick it and the ball takes the edge and flies to Sarwate.

11.00 am: End of 1 over, Rest of India 4/0. Rajneesh Gurbani with the ball at the other end.

10.58 am: Shaw gets off the mark with a boundary. Umesh sliding down the leg side and Shaw glances it towards the fine leg.

10.55 am: Faiz Fazal leads his team out on to the ground. Prithvi Shaw and Ravikumar Samarth open the innings for Rest of India. Umesh Yadav with the new ball for Vidarbha. Game on!

 

It is payback time for Rest of India. A humongous task in hand. A good thing is that the pitch is still good for batting. The RoI batters have to extremely well and try to make a match out of this. For a star studded line-up like this too — Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Karun Nair, Ravikumar Samarth, G H Vihari, Srikar Bharat and Ravichandran Ashwin etc, the task is extremely difficult.

10.43 am: There it is! Vidarbha has declared at 800/7. Wankhade takes Ravichandran Ashwin on and smacks him over long-on for six. And with that Faiz Fazal calls his men in. The Rest of India players must be relieved. Apoorv Wankhade remains unbeaten on 157 (221 balls, 16 fours, 6 sixes) and Rajneesh Gurbani on 22 (27 balls, 3 fours, 1 six).

10:40 am: Apoorv Wankahde brings up his 150 in style! He gets  to the landmark in 217 balls.

10.32 am: Gurbani joins the party. He smacks Vihari straight down the ground for four runs.

10.30 am: Wankhade is cutting loose here. He smashes one, just beyond the bowler, beating the mid-off region for four. Vidarbha 770/7.

10.28 am: Wankhade makes his intentions clear. He sends one over the cover region for four, off Agarwal. It just falls short of the rope. Vidarbha 763/7.

10.24 am: Wankhade latches on to this flighted one from Vihari and sends it back over the bowler's head for a huge six. That was a monstrous shot. Vidarbha 755/7. With less spectators, there is a search for the ball in the stands.

Rajneesh Gurbani in the middle.

10.15 am: Vihari strikes now! He flights one to Akshay Wakhare and the batsman sends it backs to the bowler with a shot. Vihari's reflexes are good and he takes a good one handed stretching catch to his right. Wakhare doesn't trouble the scorers. Vidarbha 744/7. The part-timers, Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari, have struck today.

No signs of declaration yet. Akshay Wakhare is the new man in. He joins Apoorv Wankhade.

10.07 am: Has Rest of India got an elusive breakthrough? Srikar Bharat pulls off an excellent stumping. Agarwal bowls wide off the leg stump, Sarwate misses his balance trying to work this out on the leg side and just moves out of the crease and Bharat whips the bails off in a flash. The Rest of India fielders are celebrating the wicket. The third umpire confirms it. Vidarbha loses its sixth wicket for 741. Aditya Sarwate is out for 18 (31).

10.03 am: Another record broken. It has been the order for Vidarbha. It has now scored the highest total in the history of Irani Cup. 739/5 now beating the 737 by Rest of India, against Bengal in 1991.

10.01 am: Mayank Agarwal into the attack.

9.50 am: Sarwate gets into the act. He sweetly times this in the covers for a four, off Vihari. Vidarbha 730/5.

9.45 am: End of 211 overs, Vidarbha 720/5. Huge numbers these!

9.37 am: Three runs of Vihari's first over.

The Vidarbha dugout is still not in whites. Signs of no early declaration? Meanwhile, Karun Nair turns to Hanuma Vihari for an over.

9.33 am: Apoorv Wankahde gets to a 100. The third Vidarbha batsman after Wasim Jaffer and Ganesh Satish to reach the three-figure mark. He guides Saini towards the backward point region boundary to reach the landmark. The support staff are thrilled and so are the batsmen. The next ball, Wankhade slashes hard and the ball takes the edge and flies over the slip cordon for another four. A good first over for Vidarbha - 710/5 (Wankhade 107*, Sarwate 4*).

9.30 am: The players are out. The umpires in all readiness. Navdeep Saini will start proceedings.

9.25 am: Our correspondent Amol Karhadkar from the VCA Stadium confirms the playing hours for today — First session: 9.30 am to 12 noon; Second session: 12.40 pm to 3.10 pm; Third session: 3.30 pm to 5 pm. Play can be extended till 5.30 pm to get the 98 overs in.

9.25 am: We will have 98 overs to be played on day four. The pitch looks good. Not a huge wear and tear as we almost had a lull day three. It still looks a great wicket to bat on. The pitch must start to play tricks later in the day or tomorrow.

9.20 am: We are just minutes away from live action. It is a sunny day, with a high of 29 degrees, much to the relief of the teams, the spectators and the online followers. Apoorv Wankhade is just one run away from a fine century.

9.15 am: In case you missed the earlier day's play, Amol Karhadkar with the details here.