Ranji Trophy: Aditya Wakhare puts Vidarbha in pole position against Delhi

Delhi’s joy of restricting Vidarbha to 179 proved short-lived as Aditya Wakhare brought Vidarbha right back into the match by reducing the host to 41 for four.

Akshay Wakhare brought Vidarbha back into the contest after Delhi restricted the visitor to 179. (File Picture)   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Delhi’s joy of restricting Vidarbha to 179 proved short-lived as Aditya Wakhare brought Vidarbha right back into the Ranji Trophy match by reducing the host to 41 for four at the close of the opening day’s action at the Ferozshah Kotla ground here on Sunday.

On a grassy pitch, in cold conditions, Delhi could have done better after winning the toss but for a few slipped catches and veteran Wasim Jaffer's classy innings of 83.

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Simarjeet Singh proved to be Delhi’s spearhead as he removed openers Faiz Fazal and S. R. Ramaswamy and returned to put the finishing touches to Vidarbha innings with a four-wicket haul.

Ishant Sharma, who took three wickets, got the prized scalp of Jaffer. He bowled Jaffer just when the batsman was closing in on 41st century in the National championship.

On a bowler’s day, Jaffer’s knock stood out. He knew which deliveries to leave outside the off-stump and dealt well with Delhi’s all-pace attack. Walking in at 13 for one, Jaffer produced an innings of substance before his dismissal made it 162 for seven for Vidarbha. His 131-ball innings included 11 hits to the boundary.

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When Delhi batted, things went smoothly until the first 22 runs before Wakhare sent back four batsmen in the space of 13 runs. With Umesh Yadav keeping up the pressure from the other end, Wakhare claimed dividends for his disciplined line and incoming deliveries. He struck the most lethal blow with the one that forced skipper Dhruv Shorey to play and the resultant outside edge of the bat was taken by wicketkeeper.

With the conditions helping the pacers, Vidarbha will be looking to strike early on Monday to maximise its gains. Delhi, with in-from Nitish Rana still in, and three other batsmen capable of giving ample support is not without hope of giving a better account of its batting.

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