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Ranji Semis: Vidarbha Rout Kerala, Karnataka Hold Edge Over Saurashtra

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: January 25, 2019, 8:12 PM IST
Ranji Semis: Vidarbha Rout Kerala, Karnataka Hold Edge Over Saurashtra


Umesh Yadav took a special liking to Wayanad track to turn on the heat against Kerala. The paceman’s 12-wicket haul set up Vidarbha’s innings and 11-run win in the Ranji Trophy semifinal as they booked their entry into the title clash for the second successive season.

In the other semifinal in Bangalore, Ronit More's five-wicket haul helped Karnataka take a slight edge against Saurashtra. At stumps on the second day, Saurashtra were 227 for 7, trailing Karnataka's 275 by 48 runs.

Kerala v Vidarbha in Wayanad

Umesh, since returning from Australia and joining Vidarbha in the quarterfinals, has taken 21 wickets in just two Ranji games, backing up his nine-wicket haul in the quarter-finals against Team Uttarakhand with 12 wickets in the semis.

Umesh claimed 5/31 in the second essay to run through the Kerala line-up and bowled them out for just 91 in 24.5 overs to end the lop-sided match in little over four sessions. Medium-pacer Yash Thakur backed up Umesh to claim 4/28 and set up their second successive innings win.

The defending champions started day two at 171/5 but were bundled out for 208 in 52.4 overs, giving them a lead of 102 runs. On the first day, Umesh had picked up 7/48 in the first innings to send Kerala packing for just 106. Kerala’s Sandeep Warrier scalped 5/57 for his 44th wicket of the season and the fourth five-wicket haul this year.

All-rounder Jalaj Saxena was promoted to open the batting but failed to handle Umesh’s express pace and walked back for just 7. Umesh then added the wickets of Vishnu Vinod (15) and Mohammed Azharuddeen (1). Vidarbha medium-pacer Thakur also grabbed three wickets before lunch as Kerala collapsed from 59/1 to 66/7.

After lunch, Umesh didn’t take long to bag his fourth wicket of the second innings, clean bowling Basil Thampi as the hosts slumped to 73/8. He then returned for his fifth and final wicket of the innings, forcing an edge of M Nidheesh.

Vidarbha will face the winner of Saurashtra vs Karnataka in the final that will get underway on February 3.

Brief Scores: Kerala 106 (Vishnu Vinod 37, Umesh Yadav 7/48) & 91 (Arun Karthik 36, Umesh Yadav 5/31) lost to Vidharba 208 (Faiz Fazal 75, Sandeep Warrier 5/57) by an innings and 11 runs

Karnataka v Saurashtra

(Image Credits: Ronit More Facebook) (Image Credits: Ronit More Facebook)

Karnataka added 11 runs to their overnight total and were skittled out for 275, with S Sharath stranded on 83.

Saurashtra's openers added more momentum to their side with a 43-run stand before Harvik Desai slashed and edged Ronit More to the slip cordon. More then had Vishwaraj Jadeja edging behind at the stroke of lunch to leave Saurashtra 63 for 2.

The best batsman of the side, Cheteshwar Pujara, walked in at No. 4. Knowing that it was a make or break scenario for them, Karnataka's pace duo of Abhimanyu Mithun and More produced a terrific spell after lunch, testing the batsmen with relentless accuracy. Mithun should have had Pujara for just 1, but the umpire failed to notice an obvious outside edge that was grabbed by the keeper. Much to the dismay of the entire Karnataka side, Pujara batted on.

At the other end, Snell Patel was positive and settled in. Pujara remained steady as ever and the duo added 74 for the third wicket before Patel edged Shreyas Gopal's long hop down leg side for the keeper to hold on.

Pujara shifted gears then, and even hit a six, but perished to the rare mood. He looked to pull Mithun but the ball didn't rise, the top edge resulting in a simple return catch. Mithun should have had Pujara for 1, but finally had his man for 45.

Sheldon Jackson came out with an intent to score quickly and raced to 46 off 62 with two sixes and four fours, before he edged More to the keeper. K Gowtham had injured his knee while diving just a ball earlier, resulting in a break that perhaps disturbed Jackson's concentration.

More then accounted for Prerak Mankad and Kamlesh Makvana, leaving Aarpit Vasavada unbeaten on 26 at stumps.

Brief scores: Saurashtra 227 for 7 (Snell Patel 85, Sheldon Jackson 46, Cheteshwar Pujara 45; Ronit More 5/54) trail Karnataka 275 all out (Shreyas Gopal 87, S Sharath 83, Manish Pandey 62; Jaydev Unadkat 4/56) by 48 runs.
First Published: January 25, 2019, 5:18 PM IST

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