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The Hindu
The Hindu
Ashwin Achal

Ranji Trophy | Vidharbha takes the first day’s honours as Karnataka’s attack fails to make inroads

Patient knocks from Atharva Taide (109, 244b, 16x4, 1x6) and Yash Rathod (93, 157b, 12x4) put Vidarbha on top on the first day of its Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Karnataka at the VCA Stadium (Civil Lines) here on Friday.

A 184-run second-wicket stand between Taide and Rathod laid the platform for Vidarbha to reach 261 for three.

Opener Taide stood like a rock to record his second century of the tournament.

Taide was happy to bide his time, leaving balls outside off and defending all threats with a straight bat. He took an old-school approach to the long format — simply bat for time.

The southpaw used timing and sharp footwork to put away the loose deliveries.

“The longer you bat, the better. This is the game plan of our entire team,” Taide said.

The 23-year-old was dismissed in the 81st over, trapped leg-before by left-arm spinner Hardik Raj. Taide received two lives, on 26 and 44, when V. Koushik and the slips cordon put down chances.

Rathod played with more freedom, especially when the spinners came on.

It took a smart ploy to break the partnership. Pacer Vidwath Kaverappa stationed Nikin Jose at backward square-leg and bowled bouncers. Rathod fell for the trap, hooking one to Jose.

Taide, however, could not be lured in. “I was ready to take blows on my body, break my bones, fall down, but I was not ready to fall for the bouncer trap,” Taide said.

Karun Nair, who only recently shifted allegiance from Karnataka to Vidarbha, played a few pleasing cover drives in his unbeaten 30.

Late in the day, Karun pushed hard at a length ball and lobbed it back to Koushik. The fast bowler, moving to his left on the follow through, stuck his right hand out but could not hold on to the catch.

Only a few quick wickets in the first session on Saturday can keep Karnataka alive.

The scores:

Vidarbha — 1st innings: Atharva Taide lbw b Hardik 109, Dhruv Shorey lbw b Koushik 12, Yash Rathod c Jose b Kaverappa 93, Karun Nair (batting) 30, Akshay Wadkar (batting) 2; Extras (b-6, lb-6, w-3): 15; Total (for three wickets, in 86 overs): 261.

Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-206, 3-251.

Karnataka bowling: Kaverappa 18-4-67-1, Koushik 21-5-31-1, Vyshak 18-5-39-0, Dheeraj 14-0-51-0, Hardik 8-1-39-1, Samarth 7-2-22-0.

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