Ranji Trophy 2017-18, Final, Day 3, Review: Vidarbha bat Delhi out of the game courtesy Akshay Wadkar's century

Ranji Trophy 2017-18, Final, Day 3, Review: Vidarbha bat Delhi out of the game courtesy Akshay Wadkar’s century

Vidarbha finished the day on 528/7 with a lead of 233 runs over Delhi.

Akshay Wadkar
Akshay Wadkar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The third day of the final of the ongoing Ranji Trophy proved to be the moving day as Vidarbha literally batted Delhi out of the game and already have one hand on the title. The star of the day was Akshay Wadkar who played like a champion and slammed a sensational century when his team was tottering. Delhi, on the other hand, looked completely out of ideas as the day wore on and the shoulders looked dropped in the end. However, they still have the chance to make amends in the second innings and bat smartly to turn things around in this title clash.

The unbeaten duo of Wasim Jaffer and Akshay Wakhare strode out to the middle with the match hanging in balance. The former was dropped in the very first over which started Delhi’s poor day on the field. Wakhare played some streaky shots before falling into the trap off Navdeep Saini who was again excellent in the morning. The pumped-up bowler then scalped the most important batsman and experienced Jaffer on 78 and Delhi sensed a sniff into their batting line-up.

Sarwate and Wadkar frustrate the opposition

Aditya Sarwate and Akshay Wadkar then joined hands at a very crucial stage in the match and staged a counterattack to catch Delhi off-guard. They added some quick runs upfront until lunch and took the team into the lead. Post-lunch, the duo came back more determined and batted beautifully refusing to lose their wicket whatsoever. The things went from bad to worse for Delhi as they dropped catches and Sarwate latched on to the chances. Both the batsmen punished the wayward bowling from their opponents and grew the lead comprehensively.

Rishabh Pant, the captain of Delhi, tried all the tactics against them only to get more frustrated. Sarwate and Wadkar reached their personal half-centuries and in the meantime also added 169 runs for the seventh wicket stretching the lead to 120. Finally, Nitish Rana, the part-time bowler scalped the former on 79 to raise his team’s hopes once again of wrapping up their opposition quickly. But Wadkar stayed focused and continued along with Siddesh Neral as Vidarbha stamped their authority.

Another century stand summed up Delhi’s day

Sarwate’s wicket had rejuvenated the bowlers of Pant and Co. as they aimed to clean up the tail and quickly and make a comeback in the title clash. But Neral provided a perfect support to the well-set Wadkar and added an unbeaten stand of 113  for the eighth wicket. In the process, Akshay Wadkar also reached his maiden first-class ton and it came at a demanding situation for his team. He celebrated his knock in front of his family and then again buckled down to play until stumps. His partner at the other end was lucky twice as he was dismissed by Kulwant Khejroliya on both the occasions only to be called no-ball by the third umpire.

Vidarbha ended the day with a comprehensive score of 528/7 with a huge lead of 233 runs eventually batting Delhi out of the game. While Wadkar remained unbeaten on 133, Neral too brought up his half-century and stayed not-out on 56 with four gigantic sixes. Though there was some needle between Neral and Khejroliya, everything was well within the limits. Delhi bowlers toiled hard as their strike bowler Navdeep Saini went off the field midway after getting injured. Though he came back for his team later in the day, he couldn’t bowl with the same intensity. They could scalp only three wickets in 89 overs and conceded 322 runs.

It is now in Delhi’s hands to make a move in this game as Vidarbha will settle for a draw after taking a lead in the first innings. They would like to score quick runs in the second innings and set a decent target in front of Vidarbha. If they manage to do go past the lead, it would be a great comeback for them but as of now it seems like the team from Maharashtra is winning the coveted trophy.

Brief Scores

Delhi 295 (D Shorey 145, H Singh 66; R Gurbani 6/59)

Vidarbha 528/7 (A Wadkar 133*, A Sarwate 79, W Jaffer 78, F Fazal 67, S Neral 56*; N Saini 3/126)