Lunch: Saurashtra 284 for 9 (Snell 102, Unadkat 34*, Sarwate 5-90, Wakhare 3-72) trail Vidarbha 312 by 28 runs
Snell Patel completed his second first-class century, but it really was their gutsy lower-order batting, led by captain Jaydev Unadkat, that kept Saurashtra in the contest against Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 final in Nagpur.
Starting the day on a precarious 158 for 5 in response to the defending champions’ 312, Saurashtra slid to 184 for 7 when Patel fell to Umesh Yadav for 102. But – like in the Vidarbha innings – the last few batsmen came good, taking them to 284 for 9 by the end of an extended morning session.
At the break, Unadkat was on 34 and last-man Chetan Sakariya on 17. The last wicket has so far added 37 runs and brought the lead down to just 28 runs.
Prerak Mankad, overnight on 16, was the first to be dismissed on the day, trapped in front by left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate, who later completed a five-wicket haul. Patel brought up his century, sweeping Akshay Karnewar for four, but didn’t last long after that, Umesh getting one to move away off a good length to catch the edge of the bat for the wicketkeeper to take a low catch.
Umesh bowled with pace and fire, and found movement too, but wasn’t able to make further inroads, even with the new ball that was taken as soon as it was available – if anything, the harder ball went for quite a few runs as Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Kamlesh Makvana were able to make use the bowler’s pace, a rarity for the most part in the innings.
Prior to that, Wasim Jaffer missed a regulation slip catch off Jadeja, and the batsman rubbed it in by smacking offspinner Akshay Wakhare over midwicket for a six – which also brought up the team’s 200.
Jaffer, however, held on to a tougher chance not long after when Sarwate got the still-new ball to jump sharply off the pitch and induced the edge from Jadeja. It went fast at head-height to Jaffer, and he clung on even as he tumbled backwards. That made it five for the innings for the impressive Sarwate.
Jadeja had scored 23, and Makvana made 27 before offering another straightforward chance to Jaffer off Wakhare.
The last wicket, however, has so far eluded Vidarbha, and Unadkat and Makvana have snatched away the advantage Saurashtra had conceded at the end of the second day.
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