As it happened: Ranji Trophy Final: Saurashtra wobbling as Vidarbha on cusp of history

Catch all the LIVE scores and updates from Day four of the Ranji Trophy final between Saurashtra and Vidarbha.

Jaydev Unadkat celebrates after dismissing Akshay Wadkar on the penultimate day of the Ranji Trophy final at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur.   -  Vivek Bendre

So, the equation is simple. Five wickets for Vidarbha or 148 runs for Saurashtra and we will have a Ranji Trophy winner. A task cut out for Saurashtra and Vidarbha would fancy itself laying hands on the coveted domestic title. In all, a pulsating Thursday awaits all of us!

16:54: End of Day 4, Saurashtra wobbling at 58/5, needing 148 more runs on the final day. A mountain to climb and Vidarbha will come sniffing at a second consecutive Ranji Trophy title.

16:50: We are into the last over of the day.

16:38: Vidarbha on a roll. Akshay Wakhare removes Sheldon Jackson for 7 and Saurashtra 55/5. The ball pitches and stays low, Jackson is down the track, misses connecting and the cherry rattles the timber.

16:30: Umesh Yadav and Akshay Wakhare have kept it tight and Saurashtra limps to 51/4, needing 155 more runs to win. With just about five overs left in the day, both the batsmen would just love to stick to the basics.

16:23: Akshay Wakhare is back into the attack and the Saurashtra batsmen are living dangerously. A couple of ariel shots fall well ahead of the fielder but it has sure kept the Saurashtra hearts in their mouths. The fielders are noisy, a lot of chatter around and Vidarbha is having fun. Saurashtra crawls to 42/4, needing 164 more.

16:12: Sheldon Jackson joins Vishvarajsinh Jadeja and the duo's first task - see off the day without any major hiccup.

16:10: Umesh Yadav strikes. A masterstroke from Faiz Fazal to make the bowling change. Arpit Vasavada manages only an edge to a length delivery bowled around the wicket, it moved away from the southpaw. Vasavada manages just 5, Saurashtra in deep trouble at 35/4, needing 171 more runs to win. The Vidarbha players are overjoyed.

16:04: Vishvarajsinh Jadeja and A.V. Vasavada have a job in their hands as Saurashtra is in big trouble chasing 206.

15:45 - Cheteshwar Pujara, India’s man of the series in the Test series win Down Under, fell to Vidarbha slow left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate once again in the second innings to leave Saurashtra in deep trouble. Here's how Sarwate set up Pujara.

READ: Sarwate: ‘I have seen Pujara a lot in the Australia series’

15:40: WICKET - Big, big wicket as Cheteshwar Pujara departs. Sarwate removes Pujara and Vidarbha is right back in the game. Pujara lunges forward to defend but the ball hits flush on his pad and there was no question about it. Plumb. Saurashtra in trouble at 22/3.

15:36: Back to back wickets and Aditya Sarwate removes both the Saurashtra openers. Saurashtra 22/2.

15:19: Snell Patel and Harvik Desai have given Saurashtra a steady start as Vidarbha's search for an early breakthrough continues.  Saurashtra 18/0.

14:59: Snell Patel and Harvik Desai are the two openers and it will be Aditya Sarwate who will start proceedings for Vidarbha.

14:58: We are back from Tea and the Saurashtra batsmen are out there in the middle.

 

14:40: WICKET - Jadeja traps Sarvate for 49 as Saurashtra bowl out Vidarbha for 200. Saurashtra requires 206 runs to win the Ranji Trophy final.

 

13:43: WICKET - Umesh's stay at the crease comes to an end as Sakariya uproots his middle stump. Vidarbha 178/9 leads by 183 runs. 

13:23: Umesh Yadav goes down town and smacks a six and a four. Vidarbha 163/8 leads by 168 runs.

13:18: Umesh Yadav is the new batsman.

Here's Wriddhaayan with updates:  The Saurashtra spinners are on fire. Makvana pitches it around off and turns it in. Kale misjudges the length and is beaten.

Umpire Anil Chaudhary raises his finger but the spinning delivery could have well gone down leg. Kale batted for 118 minutes for a fighting 38 off 94.

Jadeja strikes: He picks up a fifer; the arm ball traps Wakhare in front of the stumps.

13:17: WICKET - Jadeja picks a five-wicket haul as he traps Akshay Wakhare for 1. Vidarbha loses its eighth wicket. Vidarbha 147/8 leads by 152 runs.

 

13:04: It will be interesting to see Saurashtra's tactics from here on. With eight overs remaining for the new ball,  the spinners are likely to continue bowling in tandem. Vidarbha 143/7 leads by 148 runs.

12:57: Akshay Wakhare is the new batsman.

12:56: WICKET - Saurashtra strike immediately after Lunch as Makwana traps Kale in front of the wickets. Vidarbha 134/7 leads by 139 runs.

12:47: Dropped - Jadeja induces an edge and Harvik Desai drops a slightly difficult chance to hand Kale a life.

12:45: Makwana starts well with some tossed up deliveries and almost had Sarwate caught at first slip. Vidarbha 128/6 leads by 133 runs.

12:41: Kamlesh Makwana to start proceedings with the ball and it will be Mohit Kale on strike.

12:40: The players are back from the Lunch break and the second session is underway. Important couple of hours for both teams. 

11:59: That will be Lunch and clearly, it was Saurashtra's session. Jaydev Unadkat led from the front and along with spinners took four wickets. Saurashtra has staged a brilliant fightback and Vidarbha needs an inspiration of sorts to keep Saurashtra at bay. Vidarbha 126/6 leads by 131 runs.

Here's Wriddhaayan with updates: The Kale-Sarwate pair has managed to survive 58 balls in the pre-lunch session. They need to bat at least till 3.30 pm today to turn the heat on Saurashtra.

Vidarbha is leading by 131runs, another 120 odd runs could spell pressure for the visitor.

This session belonged to Jadeja.

 

Here's Wriddhaayan with updates:

There is a reason why Jadeja has been the bowling trump card for Saurashtra in the season. The slow left-arm bowler has stepped up whenever the team needed him.

Four wickets in the second innings here has taken his tally to 57 wickets in the season and counting.

And while I write this, Kamlesh Makvana removes the in-form Akshay Karnewar. It is a classical dismissal. The spinning delivery catches the outside edge and Harvik Desai takes a safe catch at first slip.

It could all be over today.

11:26: Aditya Sarwate is the new man in.

11:24: WICKET - Makwana strikes as Akshay Karnewar departs. The batsman goes for an ambitious drive only to get an outside edge as Harvik Desai pouches a clean catch at first slip. Vidarbha 105/6 leads by 110 runs.

11:07: Vidarbha's lead crosses the 100-run mark and both Wadkar and Kale are doing a fine job with some smart batting. Vidarbha 96/5 leads by 101 runs.

READ: Jaydev Unadkat: 'I can bat, this isn’t the first time'

Here's Wriddhaayan with updates:

Last night, Jaydev Unadkat and I were having a conversation. He said, “Whatever the total is, we will chase it.”

Brimming with confidence, the left-arm pacer uproots Akshay Wadkar’s off-stump by angling it in. Half of Vidarbha’s side is back.

The Wasim Jaffer dismissal: In the entire season, Jadeja has delivered when it mattered. This is perhaps his biggest wicket of the season. The graceful veteran wanted to slice it through the slip fielder but the ball kept low and he nicked it to Avi Barot behind the stumps.

Regular ‘keeper Snell Patel has been rested.

The tricky decision: Satish has been given out leg-before but there was an inside edge and a catch taken at silly point. It is understood that the umpire can change his decision at the end of the day. But the fact is he was out anyway.

10:51: Chetan Sakariya into the attack after Drinks break.

10:37: Mohit Kale releases the pressure by finding a boundary but a relentless Jaydev Unadkat is breathing fire. Vidarbha 79/5 leads by 84 runs.

10:28: A Karnewar is out there in the middle.

10:25: WICKET - Jaydev Unadkat uproots the off-stump of Akshay Wadkar with a peach of a delivery. Saurashtra on top as Vidarbha loses its fifth wicket.  Unadkat is pumped up and so as the Saurashtra team. Vidarbha 73/5 leads by 78 runs.

10:18: Akshay Wadkar is the new man in.

10:16: WICKET - Dharmendrasinh Jadeja strikes again and this time removes the well-set Ganesh Satish. Vidarbha's both overnight batsmen are back in the hut. Pitched in line, Satish lunges forward to defend, but the ball hits his pad. There was an inside edge too and the fielder at short-leg took the catch. Vidarbha 72/4 leads by 77 runs.

10:10: Mohit Kale is the new batsman.

10:07: WICKET - Change in bowling has worked and Jadeja gets the prized scalp of Wasim Jaffer for 11. The ball kept a tad low and Jaffer went for the cut only to get a faint outside edge and the wicket-keeper taken an excellent low catch. Saurashta is pumped up and suddenly there is a buzz in the ground. Vidarbha 71/3 leads by 76 runs.

10:05: First bowling change of the morning and spin being introduced early. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja into the attack.

09:53: Both Wasim Jaffer and Ganesh Satish are being watchful but Jaydev Unadkat has been successful in beating the batsmen's outside edge. Unadkat switched from over the wicket to round the wicket and is bowling in a fine rhythm.  Vidarbha 66/2 leads by 71 runs.

09:44: Jaydev Unadkat bowls a maiden over and there is a hint of reverse swing. Vidarbha 61/2 leads by 66  runs.

09:35: Chetan Shakariya is the new bowler and it will be Wasim Jaffer on strike.  Jaffer is away with a couple of runs as he opens the face of the bat to run the ball through the backpoint.

09:34: First runs of the morning as Ganesh Satish flicks a full delivery that was bowled on the pads to the fine-leg boundary. Vidarbha 59/2 leads by 64 runs.

09:29: All set for day four and it will be Jaydev Unadkat who will start proceedings for Saurashtra and it will be Ganesh Satish on strike.  One slip and a gully with a short mid-wicket in place. Here we go.

We are all set for the penultimate day of the Ranji final in what promises to be a thrilling day.

Our correspondent from the venue, Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya will bring you all the live updates.

Eight wickets in hand, a 60-run lead and two days to spare. Vidarbha hadn’t expected these numbers on day three that strangely brought the batsman out of Saurashtra No. 10 Jaydev Unadkat and No. 11 Chetan Sakariya.

The tail-enders stitched a 60-run partnership in 162 balls for the 10th wicket. Saurashtra fell short of Vidarbha’s first innings total of 312 by only five runs.

Vidarbha ended Day three at 55/2.

Day 3 Report

END OF DAY THREE

Vidarbha 312 and 55 for 2 leads Saurashtra 307 (Snell Patel 102, Jaydev Unadkat 46, Aditya Sarvate 5 for 98, Akshay Wakhare 4 for 80) by 60 runs.

5.02 pm: Vidarbha has the first-innings lead, but it's still anybody's game. The last-wicket partnership between Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya has brought parity to the topsy-turvy contest.

It looks set for an exciting finish. Join us for Day Four, on Wednesday. Till then, it's goodbye.

5.01 pm: The final over of the day, bowled by Jadeja, is safely negotiated. It's stumps.

4.53 pm: 50-up for Vidarbha. There is a sense of calmness about Jaffer. The two batsmen — Satish and Jaffer — work the ball around to collect singles.

4.37 pm: Jadeja gets his second wicket. Sanjay comes down the track and tries to defend, but the ball goes past him and by the time he grounds his bat in the crease, it's too late. The substitute wicketkeeper A. Barot has dislodged the bails in time. Vidarbha 45 for 2.

Wasim Jaffer is the new batsman.

4.32 pm: Unadkat is back to bowl his fifth over. He has fielders all around the batsman, but Sanjay safely negotiates the over. It's 44 for 1.

4.27 pm: A loud shout for lbw by Jadeja, but it's not out. Sanjay the batsman. It was a full delivery; Sanjay tries to play a defensive stroke and the ball hits the pad. It strikes him well below the knee-roll as well. But the umpire doesn't think it's out; he gestures to the excited Saurashtra players to calm down.

4.19 pm: Satish comes down the track to loft Jadeja one again, this time straight over his head. It's a four.

4.11 pm: Makwana misses a caught-and-bowled chance to allow Sanjay to survive. Getting to the pitch of the delivery, Sanjay drives the ball hard; it comes straight at the bowler, above his shoulder, and bursts through his hands. Makwana gets a bandage applied on one of his fingers.

 

4.07 pm: Satish comes down the track and lofts Jadeja over long-off for a six. It hits the rope on the full. A rare shot of belligerence.

 

3.58 pm: Jadeja bowls a delivery that is full, and wide outside the off-stump. Fazal bends his knee and plays a flourishing drive through extra-cover for a couple of runs. Jadeja's next delivery has the same trajectory, but a different line. This time, it is a full delivery on middle-stump; Fazal tries to play the sweep, the ball turns and hits the stumps behind him. He's out for 10.

Ganesh Satish is the new batsman.

3.51 pm: Sanjay suffers a twisted ankle while returning to his crease, having been sent back by Fazal at the non-strikers' end. He gets medical help, and it's drinks.

Here's Wriddhaayan, our reporter: It is anybody’ game but the advantage would lie with Saurashtra for the 162-ball grind in 117 minutes for the 10th wicket partnership of 60 runs between Unadkat and Sakariya.  Unadkat, the leader, is stepping up in every game. A national recall is not too far away it seems.  Vidarbha is taking it slow now. It would want to play out the overs than do anything silly at the moment.

3.46 pm: Runs come in a trickle. It encourages Jadeja to flight his deliveries, hoping to entice the batsmen. Fazal plays a rare improvised stroke, a paddle-sweep to the fine-leg region, for a single. After 13 overs, it's 13 for 0.

3.43 pm: Spin from both ends now. Left-arm orthodox spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja's first over is also a quiet one.

3.36 pm: A reprieve for Fazal. He digs out a full delivery by Makwana with the motion of a drive. The ball touches the bottom of his bat, and nearly carries on the full to Makwana, who dives to his right but in vain. The wicketkeeper and the slip fieldsman have their hands on their heads. In the same over, Fazal stays back to defend a delivery that turns and hits his left pad. The impact was just outside the off-stump, as indicated by the umpire.

3.27 pm: Spin introduced. Off-spinner Kamlesh Makwana comes on to bowl. He bowls an overpitched delivery; R. Sanjay pounces on it, driving it through extra-cover for the first boundary of the innings.

3.23 pm: A maiden over bowled by Unadkat. A short mid-on fielder, stationed near the non-striker, has been placed for Fazal.

3.18 pm: Six quiet overs have been bowled. The batsmen are intent on leaving balls outside off-stump to go through to the wicketkeeper. It's 4 for 0. Lead is 9.

3.01 pm: A loud shout for lbw by Sakariya, but the umpire shakes his head. The ball, angling into the left-handed Fazal, pitches outside the off-stump line, and hits him just below the knee-roll, within the zone of the three stumps. Saurashtra's fielders are disappointed. It looked a close call.

2.56 pm: Unadkat bowls a delivery angling away from the right-handed R. Sanjay, and it narrowly misses the edge on its way to the wicketkeeper. Only one run, taken by Faiz Fazal, is scored in the first over of Vidarbha's second innings.

2.34 pm: It's tea, on Day Three.

2.30 pm: Unadkat falls prey to the sweep, and the first-innings lead is Vidarbha's. Unadkat can't keep it down; it's caught by the square leg fielder. Wakhare the bowler.

If the contest ends in a draw, Vidarbha will be declared the winner owing to the first-innings lead.

It may have ended in heartbreak, but it had been a dogged fight by the last pair. Unadkat fell four short of a half-century. Our reporter Wriddhaayan informs us Sakariya's 28 is his highest score in first-class cricket.

2.24 pm: Wakhare grimaces twice in his 19th over, for valid reasons. Sakariya gets an outside edge; the ball travels through the legs of the slip fielder - Wasim Jaffer - for a boundary. It was a drop, too. Later, Sakariya gets an inside edge and this time, it bounces just in front of the short-leg fielder, and also goes through his legs. A single is taken. Unadkat, off the last ball of the over, plays a sweep for another single, and Saurashtra trails by just six now.

2.19 pm: Unadkat stretches forward to defend a delivery from Sarvate, and smother the turn. He misses it, and the alert wicketkeeper dislodges the bails upon collecting the ball. It's not out, as Unadkat had his right foot firmly rooted inside the crease. 300 for 9, Saurashtra trails by 12 runs.

 

2.14 pm: 300-up for Saurashtra, with a quick single taken by Unadkat. He plays a sweep off Wakhare. In the earlier over bowled by Sarvate, Sakariya survives a leg-before-wicket shout. The ball had turned sharply; having pitched outside off, it came back in to the left-hander and hit his knee-roll. The umpire ruled it not-out.

Our correspondent at the venue, Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya says: The Unadkat-Sakariya pair has managed to survive for 77 minutes. The partnership for the 10th wicket is 47 runs. Every run is being cheered for; Pujara has been clapping for every run too. He is out in the dressing room balcony. Saurashtra trails Vidarbha by 18 runs.

1:45pm Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya have been comfortable since lunch, though they have added only nine runs in thirty-plus minutes of play so far. Vidarbha's lead is now 19.

 

12:30pm Jaydev Unadkat has been very positive (he is unbeaten on 34 runs off 52 balls) and, in the company of Chetan Sakariya, has stitched a 37-run unbeaten partnership for the 10th wicket, taking Saurashtra to 284 for nine at lunch on Day 3, still trailing Vidarbha by 28 runs. The morning session was extended by 30 minutes since the last-wicket pair was in the middle. But Unadkat and Sakariya have run hard between the wickets and found the boundary whenever a loose ball has been on offer, taking advantage of the in-out field deployed by Faiz Fazal.

Our correspondent from the venue, Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya says: After playing a few smart shots, including a reverse sweep, Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat seems to be in a bit of pain. He gave himself room to slice a Sarwate delivery and hurt his shoulder in the process. These are bonus runs for Saurashtra, it will be looking to narrow the lead as much as it can. With just a wicket in hand, there is not much the visitor can do at the moment.

11:53am OUT! Kamlesh Makvana falls for 27, Akshay Wakhare picks up his third wicket. An over-pitched delivery finds the outside edge with Makvana looking to drive through the offside, and Wasim Jaffer takes the catch at first slip. Saurashtra 247 for nine, trailing by 65 runs.

 

11:25am OUT! A stunning catch from Wasim Jaffer at first slip to dismiss Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Aditya Sarwate has a five-for. Jadeja looked to play the late cut past the slip fielder, but he couldn't keep his shot down and the ball flew quickly off his bat, but Jaffer gets his hands in the right position quickly and holds on comfortably. Saurashtra 226 for eight. Captain Jaydev Unadkat has walked in to bat.

11:05am Dropped! Akshay Karnewar induces a loose shot from Kamlesh Makvana, who gets an outside edge and the ball flies fine and to the left of Wasim Jaffer at first slip. The veteran goes with his left hand out but the ball doesn't stick.  Saurashtra 194 for seven.

 

10:42am OUT! Snell Patel falls soon after reaching his century (102). Umesh Yadav has his first wicket of the match. Patel plays away from his body at a wide, full delivery, gets an outside edge and Akshay Wadkar takes a sharp low catch. Saurashtra 184 for seven, still trailing by 128 runs. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja is the new batsman in.

Our correspondent from the venue, Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya says: Finally, after a gruelling 45 minutes on day three, Sarwate provides the much-needed breakthrough. This is the time when Vidarbha’s score of 312 may look like a mountain to climb. It was a slower delivery through the air and Prerak Mankad plays the wrong line. Trapped! Kamlesh Makvana is the new man in.

10.29am CENTURY! Snell Patel brings up his century, the second of his first-class career and the first of this season. He sweeps Akshay Karnewar fine and the 15th four of his innings takes him to the landmark.

10:13am OUT! Aditya Sarwate picks up his fourth wicket and provides Vidarbha its first wicket of the third morning. He traps Prerak Mankad with an arm-ball. Mankad misread the flight of the ball and played back, but the ball was fuller and hits him low on his front pad. He is out for 21, Saurashtra 173 for six. Kamlesh Makvana is the new batsman in.

9:58am Prerak Mankad has copped a couple of painful blows from Umesh Yadav in the opening half-hour. The first time he was struck on his left shoulder trying to duck a bouncer which didn't climb as much as he thought. The second blow is on his right thumb, this time because of extra bounce. Saurashtra is 166 for five, trails Vidarbha by 146 runs.

9:30am Aditya Sarwate begins proceedings on Day 3. Saurashtra tails Vidarbha by 154 runs with five wickets in hand.

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Honours were shared on Day 2 with Saurashtra reaching 158 for five after Vidarbha had made 312 in the first innings, thanks to an unbeaten 73 from Akshay Karnewar. For Saurashtra, Snell Patel has held the innings together with his unbeaten 87 after Aditya Sarwate had helped Vidarbha reduce it to 81 for three. Akshay Wakhare was the other wicket-taker for Vidarbha, which will eyeing a first-innings lead. (Day 2 report)