Ranji Trophy Final, MUM vs VID: Half-Centuries From Karun Nair, Akshay Wadkar Help Vidarbha Resist Mumbai

Ranji Trophy Final, MUM vs VID: Half-Centuries From Karun Nair, Akshay Wadkar Help Vidarbha Resist Mumbai

Musheer Khan's crucial wicket of Karun Nair late in the day helps Mumbai breathe easy

Haridev PushparajUpdated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 08:41 PM IST
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Shashank Parade

Vidarbha's resolute batting led by half-centuries from a solid Karun Nair and a resilient skipper Akshay Wadkar ensured Mumbai's wait for their 42nd Ranji Trophy title was pushed to the fifth and final day after a grinding day four at the Wankhede Stadium, here on Wednesday.

The hosts had set Vidarbha 'Mount 538' to climb and thanks largely to the efforts of Nair, who struck a thoroughly professional 74 off 220 balls comprising three fours at a strike rate of 33.63, and a defiant Wadkar's unbeaten 56 off 91 balls saw the visitors reach 248/5 in 92 overs at stumps.

It was a day that started with Mumbai claiming two wickets in the first session after Vidarbha had added 54 runs to their overnight score of 10/0 and were in a spot of bother at 64/2.

Openers Atharva Taide and Dhruv Shorey were scalped by Shams Mulani and Tanush Kotian respectively and Mumbai sniffed an opportunity to break the locks and sneak into the Vidarbha middle order.

The two of them had stitched together an opening partnership of 64 that laid the foundation for Vidarbha's herculean pursuit.

The coming together of Aman Mokhade and Nair for the was just what the doctor had ordered for Vidarbha and the two stuck it out with a 54-run stand for the third wicket.

With hardly anything in the wicket and the spinners the only ones to get even the remotest of purchase from the wicket, Mokhade and Nair wore down Mumbai.

Nair also had his share of luck as well when the former Karnataka batter was dropped on 4 by Hardik Tamore off the bowling of Tanush Kotian.

Vidarbha were 70/2 at that stage.

The partnership of 54 runs came from 162 balls with Nair scoring 21 of those and Mokhade a bit more proactive with 32 frustrated the Mumbai camp and skipper Ajinkya Rahane.

Shashank Parade

It seemed challenging to orchestrate a breakthrough for the greater part of the first session.

However, post-lunch Mokhade was trapped leg before by an incisive Musheer Khan as Vidarbha slumped to 118/3.

Tanush Kotian kept up the pressure on the visitors when he got Yash Rathod out to another leg before decision as Vidarbha were reduced to 133/4.

It was then that Nair and Wadkar got their show up and running to send a clear signal to Mumbai about their intentions of batting time and denying a wicket.

The 90-run partnership that came off 173 balls saw them batting for 129 minutes, two hours and nine minutes to torment the Mumbai bowlers.

Day three's centurion Musheer was the saviour for Mumbai on the fourth day as well when he saw the back of Nair in the 87th over caught-behind to Tamore.

That ensured Mumbai ended the day on a satisfactory note with a great deal of work still left on the final day.

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