Sarwate's all-round show takes Vidarbha close to second title

Slow left-arm orthodox bowler Aditya Sarwate scores 49 with the bat, picks three wickets, including Pujara's, as Saurashtra stares at defeat.

Saurashtra's Sheldon Jackson steps out to Vidarbha's Akshay Wakhare only to see his stumps rearranged in the Ranji Trophy final. Jackson, at that point, only had four overs to survive for stumps on Day Four.   -  Vivek Bendre

Chasing 206 for the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 title, chase masters Saurashtra survived a tricky final session to end day four at 58/5.

Harvik Desai 8 off 13 (4x1) and Snell Patel 12 off 27 (4x2) started off on a bright note. The young pair smashed speedster Umesh Yadav for three boundaries in their brief stay, before Aditya Sarwate unleashed his spinning demons on the rough.

Local boy Sarwate brought the VCA stadium alive as he dismissed the openers in quick succession, followed by the wicket of the talisman — Cheteshwar Pujara — for the second time in the game.

As it happened

He claimed three wickets in one straight spell to return with handsome figures of 10-2-13-3.

Patel — the only batsman to have scored a hundred (102) in this final — had been rested from ‘keeping, thanks to the Yadav bouncer that sent him into a tizzy in the second innings.

Though his reports were normal, his game seemed virus-affected as he misjudged a tossed up delivery outside off. The ball spun against his defense, catching an edge, to Wasim Jaffer at first slip.

In the next over, Sarwate caught Desai off his own bowling as the batsman tried to play him on the on-side. 

Pujara lasted only five deliveries for a duck. He was dismissed by a terrific arm ball. The India No 3 was beaten on the inside edge to be trapped right in front of his stumps.

The 100-odd people spread across three stands started whistling as Pujara walked back with his head down.

Back for a second spell, Yadav dismissed Arpit Vasavada 5 off 34 in the 18th over off a thick outside edge that went to the 'keeper.

Akshay Wakhare completed the top order sweep by breaching Sheldon Jackson's (7 off 11) citadel in the 25th.

Jackson, who batted in a Pujara manual in the semifinal scoring a 100, was in a hurry. He danced down the track to dominate and ended up missing the line; an irresponsible shot in a pressure situation. All he had to do was to survive four overs to stumps. 

Vishvaraj Jadeja 23* off 68 (4x3) and Kamlesh Makvana 2 off 10 will have a mountain to climb on day five.

Aditya Sarwate forged crucial partnerships with the Vidarbha tail to help his team post 200 in the second innings in the Ranji Trophy final.   -  Vivek Bendre

 

Vidarbha innings

Earlier, resuming the day at 55/2, Vidarbha lost its experienced batters Jaffer 11 off 44 (4x1) and Ganesh Satish 35 off 74 (4x3, 6x1) in a span of eight balls. 

Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Saurashtra’s highest wicket-taker this season, claimed six wickets that raised Saurashtra's hopes in the first session. At one point, it looked like the end was near.

Jaffer, with all his grace, tried to slice the flatter delivery outside off. The ball kept low and he ended up nicking it to substitute stumper Avi Barot.

Satish was initially declared leg-before off another Jadeja arm ball, but the delivery was sliding down leg and it had an inside edge as well. Luckily, Vishvaraj had grabbed it at silly point. Later, the umpires changed their decision. 

Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat bowled the delivery of the game in the 42nd over when he cleaned up Akshay Wadkar for 0. He pitched the ball a little wide off the crease to angle it in.

This has been his go-to delivery of the season, specially when bowling to right-handers.

Wadkar wanted to flick it to the leg side but he was beaten on the outside edge and the off-stump was uprooted.

Mohit Kale 38 off 94 (4x3) kept the scorers busy, along with Akshay Karnewar 18 off 34 (4x4, 6x1) in the middle overs. Off-spinner Makvana sent them back to bring the visitor back into the game. 

Sarwate's partnerships

  • 29 off 86 with Kale for the seventh wicket
  • 13 off 44 with Wakhare for the eighth wicket
  • 31 off 27 with Yadav for the ninth wicket
  • 22 off 68 with Gurbani for the tenth wicket

Down the order, Sarwate played a gutsy knock of 49 off 133 (4x5) with Umesh Yadav and Rajneesh Gurbani for company that stretched the lead past the 200 run-mark. Sarwate batted for 154 minutes and forged small partnerships to help Vidarbha reach a score of little repute.

Brief scores: Vidarbha 312 & 200 (A Sarwate 49, M Kale 38; D Jadeja 6/96, J Unadkat 1/30) vs Saurashtra 307 & 65/4 (V Jadeja 23*; A Sarwate 3/13).

On Day five: Saurashtra needs 148 more runs to win and Vidarbha five wickets.