Vijay Hazare: Pathania's unbeaten ton not enough to overhaul Vidarbha

Diwesh Pathania of Services cracked a brilliant, maiden first-class century (100 not out, 77b, 11 x 4, 6 x 6) but it was not just good enough to prevent Ranji champion, Vidarbha, from recording a 17-run win in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Apoorv Wankhade Vijay Hazare Trophy Vidarbha vs SERVICES

Apoorv Wankhade top-scored for Vidarbha with 73 against Services in the Group D match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Hyderabad.   -  K. V. S. Giri

Diwesh Pathania of Services cracked a brilliant, maiden first-class century (100 not out, 77b, 11 x 4, 6 x 6) but it was not just good enough to prevent Ranji champion, Vidarbha, from recording a 17-run win in a Group D match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day cricket tournament at Gymkhana Ground here on Friday.

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Chasing a challenging score of 268, Services, despite losing opener Nakul Verma (1) to India pacer Umesh Yadav in the third over of the innings, steadied the innings thanks to a 63-run stand for the second wicket between Soumik Chatterjee (54, 85b, 6 x 4) and Ashutosh Aman (34, 64b, 2 x 4, 1 x 6) but soon after lost wickets are regular intervals.

Akshay Karnewar, who can switch over from left-arm to off-spin with ease, and seasoned leggie Karn Sharma bowled well in themiddle-overs to strike the crucial blows. Services also suffered a jolt with the run-out of its frontline batsman Rahul Singh (11) thanks to a smart fielding effort by Ravi Jangid from the deep.

When Soumik Chatterjee went for the slog to lose his wicket off Karn Sharma, Services was reduced to a hopeless 124 for seven in 29.4 overs.

But, to the dismay of Vidarbha camp, 28-year-old Diwesh then unleashed a flurry of big strokes to bring his team tantalisingly close to the victory target but ended up a gallant loser with the tailenders failing to rise to the occasion.

Earlier, Vidarbha reminded of its new-found stature in domestic cricket to come back strongly into the game after reeling at 50 for five in 13.2 overs thanks to a splendid 120-run partnership for the sixth wicket between the free-stroking Apoorv Wankhade (73, 77b, 10 x 4, 1 x 6) and Karn Sharma (54, 66b, 4 x 4).

For Services, pacer Raushan Raj was the pick of the bowlers sending back the top three in quick succession including captain and opener Faiz Fazal, who played onto the stumps. And, Vidarbha also had the misfortune of seeing its reliable Ganesh Satish run-out. But, thanks to Wankhade and Karn, Vidarbha eventually posted what turned out to be a match-winning total.

In another match, Hyderabad made amends after yesterday’s drubbing against Vidarbha, to post a creditable, six-wicket win over Saurashtra.

Saturday is a rest day.

The scores:

Vidarbha 267 for nine in 50 overs (Apoorv Wankhade 73, Karn Sharma 54, Raushan Raj three for 49) bt Services 250 for nine in 50 overs (Soumik Chatterjee 54, Dwivesh Patania 100 not out).

Saurashtra 277 for seven in 50 overs (Samarth Vyas 57, Arpit Vasavada 49, Prerak Mankad 62, Mohd Siraj three for 46) lost to Hyderabad 278 for six in 49.3 overs (Akshath Reddy 94, Ambati Rayudu 76, Akash Bhandari 41 not out).

Chattisgarh 251 for eight in 50 overs (Shashank Chandrakar 59, Vishal Singh 48, Ram Dayal three for 35, Umar Nazir three for 55) bt J & K 246 in 49.3 overs (Ahmad Omar 75, Parvez Rasool 44, Shubham Singh 44, Pankaj Rao three for 44, Shivendra Singh three for 46).