Akshay Wakhare: 'We could have had a fat lead, missed out on the advantage'

At the VCA ground on day three, the defending champion had an advantage when it claimed four Saurashtra wickets for 89 runs [from the overnight score 158/5].

Wakhare: "The plan was to check runs. No matter how long you stretch the game, they (Jaydev and Sakaria) are tail-enders and they would be prone to mistakes."   -  pti

Vidarbha off-spinner Akshay Wakhare feels a lead of 250 to 300 could bring the Ranji Trophy final, against Saurashtra, alive on day five.

At the VCA ground on day three, the defending champion had an advantage when it claimed four Saurashtra wickets for 89 runs [from the overnight score 158/5].

REPORT| Ranji Trophy Final: Unadkat, Sakariya late show frustrates Vidarbha

From 247/9, Jaydev Unadkat 46 off 101 (4x4) and Chetan Sakariya 28* off 82 (4x4) batted till tea. They added 60 runs for the 10th wicket which turned the game.

“We could have had a fat lead, we missed out on the advantage. Jaydev was batting well that time. Our plan was to dismiss Sakariya but eventually, he was also set. He understood that the wicket was slow and he could play.

“The plan was to check runs. No matter how long you stretch the game, they are tail-enders and they would be prone to mistakes,” said Wakhare, who returned with handsome figures of 4/80.

As it Happened

Placid pitch

Wakhare reasons that the game is evenly poised. “There is no target in our head. We need to bat really well. Spinners had a chance with the hard ball. Initially, we thought we can work it out by just having spinners bowling the quota of overs. That’s why Rajneesh Gurbani didn’t get to bowl much,” he said.

READ| Ranji Trophy: Why Unadkat can cause selection headache

Talking of Umesh Yadav’s lethal bouncers, one of which forced Saurashtra wicketkeeper-batsman Snell Patel to go for an MRI scan, he said, “The wicket was slow and low. The bouncer was the effect of his pace. There was nothing much happening on the wicket so a bouncer was necessary to keep the batsman on backfoot.”

Wakhare dismissed Unadkat in the 117th over to break the 117-minute long partnership. “He was playing the sweep. We thought we will pitch the ball outside the off-stump. It is a little difficult to pull off a sweep from that area and we were hoping the ball would fly once [which happened].”