Skipper Faiz Fazal slammed an unbeaten fifty for Vidarbha in the second innings    AFP
Skipper Faiz Fazal slammed an unbeaten fifty for Vidarbha in the second innings AFP

After putting up an ordinary show on the first two days, Vidarbha staged a strong comeback against Kerala. They now lead by 147 runs with 9 wickets in hand, before stumps on Day Three of the third quarter-final of Ranji Trophy 2017-18, at Lalbhai Contractor Stadium, Surat. Pacer Rajneesh Gurbani was the wrecker-in-chief, claiming a five-for. Playing in his eighth First-Class match, the 24-year-old registered his second five-wicket haul.

Day One saw only the final session being played. Kerala bowled out Vidardha for 246 on the second day. Spinner KC Akshay claimed a five-for and Jalaj Saxena, the season’s highest wicket-taker, picking 3 scalps. Saxena later top-scored for Kerala with 40. All of the Kerala batters got a start but could not convert it to big scores. Wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Samson fell leg-before to left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate for 32. Kerala, who were 165 for 5, skittled out adding only 11.

Ranji Trophy 2017-18, quarter-finals, Day 3: Veterans edge out youth
Ranji Trophy 2017-18, quarter-finals, Day 3: Veterans edge out youth

Sarwate kept things tight and his 11 overs cost just 16 runs. Skipper Sachin Baby was caught and bowled by Gurbani for 29. At stumps on Day Three, Vidarbha had reached to 77 for 1 with skipper Faiz Fazal batting on 51. Saxena dismissed the in-form Sanjay Ramaswamy after a 53-run opening stand. With the likes of Wasim Jaffer and Ganesh Satish yet to bat, Vidarbha are looking good to cruise to semi-finals.

Brief Scores

Vidarbha 246 all out (Akshay Wadkar 53, KC Akshay 5 for 66) & 77 for 1 (Faiz Fazal 51; Jalaj Saxena 1 for 17) lead Kerala 176 all out (Jalaj Saxena 40; Rajneesh Gurbani 5 for 38) by 147 runs.