Rathod, Wadkar, Mokhade help Vidarbha gain upper hand

Bet 365
Rathod, Wadkar, Mokhade help Vidarbha gain upper hand

Vidarbha 170 and 343 for 6 (Rathod 97*, Wadkar 77, Agarwal 2-68, Kartikeya 2-73) lead Madhya Pradesh 252 (Mantri 126, Umesh 3-40, Thakur 3-51) by 261 runs

An unbeaten 97 from Yash Rathod backed up by patient half-centuries from Aman Mokhade and Akshay Wadkar helped Vidarbha gain the upper hand in the semi-final of the 2023-24 Ranji Trophy against Madhya Pradesh.

Having conceded the first-innings lead, Vidarbha ended the second day on the back foot, trailing MP by 69 runs. But the trio of Mokhade, Wadkar and Rathod led Vidarbha’s recovery taking them to 343 for 6 at stumps on day three and in turn securing a lead of 261 runs in Nagpur.

The day started with Vidarbha’s nightwatcher Akshay Wakhar falling in just the second over of the day to fast bowler Anubhav Agarwal. Dhruv Shorey and Mokhade then dug in to add 73 runs for the third wicket, which also took Vidarbha into the lead.
Kumar Kartikeya then got into the act to remove Shorey for 40 off 65. Mokhade, playing just his second first-class game recorded his fifty but failed to continue longer. Kartikeya struck once again, trapping Mokhade lbw for 59.

Karun Nair followed up his 63 in the first innings with a sprightly 43-ball 38, but when he fell clean bowled by Kulwant Khejroliya, Vidarbha were still placed precariously at 161 for 5, with a lead of just 79.

Rathod and captain Wadkar then steadily built up the runs for Vidarbha. The duo got together in the 42nd over and kept the MP bowlers at bay for 46.3 overs adding 158 runs. By the time Wadkar fell for 77 late in the day, Vidarbha’s lead had swelled to 237. He struck eight fours in his 139-ball effort. He was eventually dismissed by Agarwal.

Rathod, however, continued to roll on. It’s been a good Ranji season for the left-hander. He did not play the initial games but since returning to the side, he has struck four fifties in eight innings. He cracked 12 fours in his 165-ball stay, and will hope to record his maiden first-class century come day four.

Vidarbha had a bit of a dash in the last two overs of the third day accumulating 24 runs, with Aditya Sarwate cracking an unbeaten 14 off eight balls with three fours. MP could only manage five strikes on the third day, with Agarwal and Kartikeya picking two wickets each.

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