Vidarbha completes Ranji Trophy-Irani Cup double again

The rookie Atharva Taide and the experienced Ganesh Satish blunted the Rest of India bowling to enable Vidarbha to retain the Irani Cup.

Vidarbha team after winning the Irani Cup for second straight year.   -  S. Sudarshan

Atharva Taide, a rookie left-hander playing only his fifth first class match, and the seasoned professional Ganesh Satish combined forces to enable Vidarbha retain the Z.R. Irani Cup at the VCA stadium on Saturday.

Replacing veteran Wasim Jaffer in the side for a crucial match can be a tough ask for any youngster but the 19-year-old showed maturity to carve out a half-century (72) that set the foundation for the famous win.

Day five: As it happened

Satish scored a fluent 87 but missed out on a deserved hundred as he pulled a long hop from Vihari to substitute fielder Sandeep Warrier at midwicket. Vidarbha chasing 280, was 11 runs away from the win at 269 for five when both captains agreed for a draw.

Coming to the crease in the first over after loss of his captain Faiz Fazal on Friday, Taide showed class and skill to play a crucial innings under pressure, adding 116 runs with opener R. Sanjay (42) for the second wicket.

The key on the fifth day was to negate the threat from leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who with his variety was going to be RoI's trump card. Taide took over the responsibility of negating the effectiveness of Chahar with his footwork and he didn't waste any opportunity to score off he rare loose deliveries from the leg spinner. He launched Chahar over the extra cover fence for a six as he grew in confidence.

Taide’s partner Sanjay held fort and scored freely against other bowlers and his straight six off Jadeja stood out for its execution and timing. However, Chahar struck soon after to remove the solid Sanjay with a straight ball.

 

Satish showed his aggressive instinct from the start but the batsman had a lucky reprieve on seven when he played an inside out shot against Chahar. Both Ankit Rajpoot and Tanveer Haq converged on to the dipping ball at midwicket but it eluded the diving Tanveer. Satish made RoI pay for the lapse as he played his shots on both sides of the wicket and never allowed the bowlers to settle down. The wicket-keeper batsman was severe on Chahar; driving and lofting him to pick up the boundaries.

Chahar struck again in the third over after lunch when he had Taide playing back to a grubber. But Satish found an ideal partner in Mohit Kale and the two attacked the spinners to pile up runs rather quickly

As the day wore on, Chahar became more erratic forcing Ajinkya Rahane to turn to other bowlers. But they could hardly make an impact. Chahar returned with the new ball but Satish struck him for three boundaries as he reached his fifty.

Dharmendrasinh Jadeja had Kale (37) top edging a sweep to Tanveer at square leg. But the fourth wicket stand of 83 brought Vidarbha closer to victory.

Incidentally, Vidarbha was adjudged Team of the Year at the Sportstar Aces Awards, held in Mumbai on February 14.

Scoreboard

Rest of India - 1st innings: 330; Vidarbha - 1st innnigs: 425; Rest of India - 2nd innings: 374 for three declared;

Vidarbha 2nd innings:

F. Fazal b Rajpoot 0, R. Sanjay lbw Chahar 42, A. Taide lbw Chahar 72, Ganesh Satish c sub (Warrier) b Vihari 87, M.R. Kale c Tanveer b Jadeja 37, A.V. Wadkar not out 10

Extras (b-14, 1b-6, nb-1) 21

Total (for five wickets in 103.1 overs) 269

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-116, 3-146, 4-229, 5-269

Rest of India bowling:

Rajpoor 15-2-41-1, Tanveer Haq 8-3-19-0, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 33-10-59-1, Rahul Chahar 41-10-116-2, Anmolpreet Singh 6-0-14-0, Vihari 0.1-0-0-1