Vidwath Kaverappa’s five-over spell on Monday morning left Saurashtra a bit roughed up like a gust of wind would an umbrella, at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium here on Monday.
Saurashtra was bruised as it lost its openers in Kaverappa’s first two overs after bowling out Rest of India for 308 early in the session.
The 24-year-old got to bowl the first over - he began with a no-ball, and ended with a wicket as Harvik Desai edged a fractionally straightened angled-in delivery to the second slip. In his second over, he got Chirag Jani to nick an angled-in delivery to the keeper. There was a bit of the batter’s own doing - closing the bat face - in both the dismissals.
But Saurashtra had a sound reason to remain assured as its all-weather man Cheteshwar Pujara walked in at No. 4.
That no-ball was just about the only mistake Kaverappa would make, for he seems self-restrained. Until the eighth over of the match, he had bowled all his deliveries barely outside the same zone (length), on just about the same line (miser-tight on and around the off-stump). His new-ball partner Navdeep Saini hadn’t been as disciplined in comparison.
Kaverappa versus Pujara battle was exciting. One trying to draw the other to make a mistake with his self-restraint, the other trying to remain withdrawn with his self-restraint.
As there had been unpredictable turn and bounce and the spinners had done well on day one, the Rest of India spinners were expected to be effective as well and they were.
Off-spinner Pulkit Narang had Pujara caught at short leg just before lunch. Left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar had Sheldon Jackson lbw and Samarth Vyas caught at gully in the second session. Another left-arm spinner Shams Mulani took two in the third.
In between, Kaverappa returned and dismissed Prerak Mankad lbw.
Only Arpit Vasavada dug in and starred with 54 (127b, 2x4) for Saurashtra. He was the penultimate wicket to fall to Saurabh.
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