Vijay Hazare Trophy: Saurashtra defeats Vidarbha to storm into semifinals

Saurashtra cruised to a seven-wicket win over Vidarbha in the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy thanks to disciplined efforts from its seam bowlers here on Wednesday.

File picture of Prerak Mankad.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Saurashtra cruised to a seven-wicket win over Vidarbha in the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy thanks to disciplined efforts from its seam bowlers here on Wednesday.

Electing to field, led by skipper Jaydev Unadkat, the Saurashtra pacers kept picking wickets and ran through the Vidarbha batting order easily to bowl them out for just 150.

READ: Tamil Nadu decimates Karnataka in quarterfinals

Late surge

If not for Apoorv Wankhede’s late surge of 72 (69b, 5x4, 5x6), Vidarbha was staring at a possibility of being bowled out for less than 100.

In its chase, despite losing three quick wickets, a 116-run unbroken stand between Prerak Mankad (77 n.o., 72b, 10x4, 2x6) and Arpit Vasavada (41 n.o., 66b, 6x4) ensured Saurashtra reached the target in under 30 overs to set up a semifinal clash against Tamil Nadu on Friday.

Unadkat struck twice early, removing in-form Atharva Taide, caught brilliantly by ’keeper Sheldon Jackson diving to his right, and then had Ganesh Satish bowled with a beautiful incoming delivery.

Skipper Faiz Fazal held fort at one end and stitched a small partnership with Akshay Wadkar for the fourth wicket.

Breakthrough

Medium-pacer Mankad however gave the breakthrough removing Wadkar playing on to his stumps. Soon, Fazal too fell when he chased a wide one from Chirag Jani and edged it to the slip fielder undoing all the hard work he had done to leave Vidarbha tottering at 66-5.

Then left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja struck twice off successive deliveries to reduce Vidarbha to 86 for eight.

Wankhede then turned the heat on as he went after the spinners Jadeja and leg-spinner Yuvraj Chudasama. He was particularly severe against Jadeja, hitting him for four sixes and a boundary as he raced to his half-century before eventually being dismissed by Chudasama.

Defending a paltry total, Vidarbha started promisingly with pacer Aditya Thakare removing the openers quickly. When Jackson fell, Saurashtra was in trouble at 35 for three before Mankad and Vasavada took charge.

Vasavada started with three boundaries off Lalit Yadav through the off-side with beautiful drives and a late-cut. Soon Mankad joined the party, going after Lalit picking three boundaries in an over and attacking the spinners with ease to seal the chase.

The scores: Vidarbha 150 in 40.3 overs (Apoorv Wankhede 72) lost to Saurashtra 151/3 in 29.5 overs (Prerak Mankad 77 not out, Arpit Vasavada 41 not out).

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