It was a day of attritional cricket at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, but Saurashtra would be more than happy for ending the day on a good note. Although the hosts put up a fightback in the third session, they could only manage to get to 200/7 at the end of the day’s play.
The opening day of the Ranji Trophy finals was no different either. Saurashtra started brilliantly, almost putting the hosts off and carried the momentum throughout, but the attritional play by the duo of Akshay Wadkar and Akshay Karnewar meant the team ended with a respectable opening day score of 200 runs with three wickets in hand.
It started by Jaydev Unadkat who extracted an outside edge off Sanjay Ramaswamy to set up the base for Saurashtra and he was further helped by Faiz Fazal who had run himself out in a ridiculous manner. At the time of Fazal’s dismissal, Vidarbha was on 29/2 and needed Wasim Jaffer to grind it out with the help of Mohit Kale and Ganesh Satish, but Unadkat was in no mood to let the momentum slip away as he tested Jaffer with a string of away-swingers before finding an edge from his blade.
The middle-order failed to deliver as the team reached 139/6 when the duo of Wadkar and Karnewar got together. Understanding the importance of forming a partnership, they applied a cautious approach and negated the spinning duo of Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Kamlesh Makvana for 22 overs before Jadeja outfoxed Wadkar to give the visitors an important breakthrough. Vidarbha would be happy for their effort, but would sincerely hope that Akshay Wakhare would make a fine partnership with Karnewar in the first session tomorrow which in a way will determine the game.