Ranji: Unadkat’s five-for destroys Vidarbha

Unadkat set off the trail of destruction, drawing first blood off the game’s second ball itself. Saurashtra's four-pronged pace battery backed up by a slip cordon or a packed off-side field was all it took Saurashtra to bring Vidarbha to its knees.

Jaaydev Unadkat (right) was tough to handle on a lively track. Akshay Wakhare walks back after losing his off-stump.   -  Basheer

The inroads made by Jaydev Unadkat’s inswingers (five for 70) proved pivotal for Saurashtra. The west coast side wrested control of its Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Vidarbha at the Andhra Cricket Association North Zone Academy ground here on Wednesday. After bundling out the Maharashtrian side for 151, it responded with 70 for the lone loss of Avi Barot.

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For Vidarbha, it rained fire in the first hour. Not that it got much better later for the orange county, after being put into bat on a lively, bouncy track. Unadkat set off the trail of destruction, drawing first blood off the game’s second ball itself. Opener Jitesh Sharma, with his unusual stance, prodded a ball into the palms of forward short leg Barot.

Faiz Fazal fell not much later edging Hardik Rathod, who shared the new ball with Unadkat. The left-arm duo switched ends. They shared spells with right arm medium pacers Deepak Punia and Chirag Jani, who stepped up to the plate to sustain the hostile attack. The four-pronged pace battery backed up by a slip cordon or a packed off-side field was all it took Saurashtra to bring Vidarbha to its knees.

Ganesh Satish was picked up at point by Chirag Jani off Rathod, while skipper S. Badrinath’s leg stump was laid low by Jani. At lunch, Vidarbha was hardly in the pink of health, hobbling at 76 for four. Wasim Jaffer personified solidity, his authority undoubted especially when playing off the back foot.

Waging a lone battle, he was never really threatened by an overtly aggressive attack. However, one momentary lapse of concentration did him in. Patting a ball that was way too high to pose a problem to his woodwork and was leaving him, he played into the hands of K. R. Makwana at gully. With his dismissal Vidarbha’s resistance was broken.

But for some sting in the tail from Umesh Yadav, the lower order could do little but surrender to Unadkat’s renewed assault. Operating over and round the wicket in spells from both ends, the wiry speedster gave little leeway, his prowess best illustrated by his sending Akshay Wakhare’s off stump on a spin.

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