Ranji Trophy: Centurion Arpit Vasavada happy with crucial contribution

Arpit Vasavada hit his second century of the season and rescued Saurashtra from deep waters, which was struggling at 15/5 at one point against Gujarat.

While Saurashtra has gained the upper hand, Arpit Vasavada feels that the match is still "wide open".   -  Vijay Soneji

Every time Arpit Vasavada plays at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, his father makes it a point to come to the ground and watch him in action.

Tuesday was no different. As the 31-year-old slammed a century in the Ranji Trophy semifinals against Gujarat, his father cheered from the stands. The celebration, however, was muted for Vasavada, who just raised his bat, waved towards the stands and got back to business.

Maybe, he was yet to sink in the fact that he had actually guided Saurashtra to a big total, which was once reeling at 15/5. “My father always comes to watch me play here, but this is special because my team needed me at that time,” Vasavada said after the day’s play.

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“Such a situation had never arisen where we were five down for 15 runs and I had to bat. It was challenging. But I could build a partnership with (Chetan Sakariya) and that worked.”

Coming in at a crunch time, he forged two crucial partnerships -- 90 runs with Chetan Sakariya, and 109 with Chirag Jani -- to guide Saurashtra to 274 in the second innings. Even though he is happy to have scored a ton, Vasavada is a bit disappointed to see Sakariya missing out on a half-century. The pair was going strong, when a mix-up saw Sakariya walking back to the pavilion for 45.

“I felt sorry for him. He was playing so well… Had he been around, we could have forged a longer partnership. It was really disappointing,” Vasavada said.

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On personal front, this was Vasavada’s second century of the season -- he played an innings of 132 against Tamil Nadu -- and was happy to play another big innings. “I was not able to convert the starts, but I am happy that this happened. That’s a good thing for me,” he said.

While Saurashtra has gained the upper hand, Vasavada feels that the match is still "wide open". “The match is still not over and whoever does well tomorrow, will win the game,” Vasavada said.

Having led a turnaround for his team, the seasoned campaigner, would ideally want the results to go in Saurashtra’s favour. But then, it’s not for nothing that cricket is called a game of glorious uncertainties!

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