Ranji Trophy: Ganesh, Sanjay lay strong base for Vidarbha

Batsmen Ganesh Satish and Sanjay Ramaswamy put on a partnership of 131 for the second wicket to allow Vidarbha to post 254 for 3 on the first day against Assam in the Ranji Trophy Group B fixture.

Ganesh Satish plays through the off side during his unbeaten 93 on Day One.   -  M. R. Praveen Chandran

The pitch at the St. Xavier’s College ground turned out to be fairly benign and Ganesh Satish (93 batting) and Sanjay Ramaswamy (83) flourished on it to put Vidarbha in a comfortable position (254 for three) at the end of the first day’s play against Assam in the Ranji Trophy Group B match here on Thursday.

>Scorecard

Ganesh and Sanjay adopted contrasting styles on a slow wicket where the ball hardly bounced above the knees.

Ganesh played his shots from the start and was not averse to use his feet against spinners. He wrested the advantage after Assam’s medium pacers had slowed down the rate of scoring with their immaculate length.

Sanjay was restrained and played the ball on merit. As Ganesh blazed away, Sanjay played second fiddle with the occasional big shots when opportunities came. The duo added 131 runs for the second wicket. Sanjay looked good for a century but paid the price for indiscretion. The opener's attempted paddle sweep saw the ball lob to Gokul Sharma at slips to end the second-wicket stand.

Patient Sarupam

Assam spinner Sarupam Purkayastha was the standout bowler and his three wickets prevented Vidarbha from running away with the honours on the first day. Sarupam pegged away despite conceding the odd boundary; he preyed on the patience of the batsmen and was rewarded for his hard work.

Sarupam got the first breakthrough when he trapped captain Fazal in front as the India international played the wrong line while trying a sweep shot. Shanware was foxed by a ball which kept low and he edged to keeper Karthik as Vidarbha slipped from 199 for one to 199 for three.

The twin strikes from Sarupam saw a sharp drop in scoring rate in the last session. To their credit, Assam's bowlers kept a tight leash on the batsmen as Vidarbha scored just 55 runs after tea.

Assam’s coach Sunil Joshi was happy with the performance of the bowlers, especially Sarupam. "The bowlers did well on an unresponsive pitch. In the end, we did well to restrict them to 254 for three. Of course, a couple of wickets would have made it our day," he said.

Ganesh said he enjoyed batting on the dry pitch and was happy with his performance. Giving credit to Assam bowlers for their effort, the former India Under-19 star said his plan was to play aggressively and not allow the spinners to settle down.

Other matches (Group B):

>Jharkhand v Rajasthan , Vadodara

>Maharashtra v Saurashtra , Vizianagaram

  Dugout videos