Ankit Bawne remained unbeaten on 89. Photo Courtesy Ankit Bawne’s Facebook page
By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Hyderabad: Jan 29, 2014
It was a day that saw Maharashtra and Karnataka share the honours in the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 final at Hyderabad. After winning the toss and electing to bat, Maharashtra may have expected a bigger score, but against a good Karnataka attack, they have done well.
At the same time, Karnataka would be happy that they have kept Maharashtra to 272 for five at the end of Day One.
Early in the day, Vinay Kumar trapped Harshad Khadiwale leg-before for 15. At the start of the innings, Khadiwale needed 20 runs to complete 1,000 runs in the season and missed out on this occasion. Vijay Zol came in with all the hoopla over his appearance in this game, but his 29-ball struggle yielded only five runs before he edged Aravind to the wicketkeeper.
That brought Kedar Jadhav to the crease and he was in his usual mood. At the other end, Chirag Khurana held firm and was very patient in his strokeplay. However, whenever the bowlers pitched it around his pads, he flicked them with authority through the leg-side.
Jadhav used his feet to the spinners and also brought his wristy touch to the game. The most memorable shot of the morning was a defensive push off Vinay Kumar which went to the long-off boundary for four. He raced away to 37 before getting a tickle down the leg-side off Abhimanyu Mithun that ended his stay.
In the afternoon, Khurana complete his 50 and was looking to take more chances. Shreyas Gopal troubled him a touch as a few edges flew through the slips. Khurana also showed a penchant to sweep and that was his undoing as he was trapped in front by Karun Nair, a part-time off-spinner.
It was then that Ankit Bawne took over and eased his way into the scoring. He played all around the wicket and measured his approach throughout. If the spinners pitched it short, he punished them severely. He also drove with authority and raced to his fifty before tea.
Skipper Rohit Motwani could only contribute 17, but with Bawne in good touch, Maharashtra were assured. Sangram Atitkar’s splendid driving also increased their confidence and took a lot of pressure off Bawne.
As the day came to a close, Bawne neared his ton. But, one has to wait for Day Two for that possible milestone.
Maharashtra 272 for 5 (Chirag Khurana 64, Kedar Jadhav 37, Ankit Bawne 89*; Abhimanyu Mithun 2 for 44, Karun Nair 1 for 21) vs Karnataka.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)