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NEW DELHI: In a remarkable comeback, Yash Rathod‘s spirited and unbeaten innings of 97 propelled Vidarbha to a total of 343 for six in their second innings against Madhya Pradesh on the third day of their Ranji Trophy semifinal in Nagpur on Monday.
Facing 165 balls, Rathod found solid support from his captain Akshay Wadkar (77, 139b), with the duo forming a resilient sixth-wicket partnership that contributed 158 runs.This recovery was crucial for Vidarbha after a shaky start at 161 for five.
The initial signs of resistance surfaced when Dhruv Shorey (40, 65b) and Aman Mokhade (59, 100b) combined for an 84-run partnership for the third wicket.
This partnership began after Vidarbha lost nightwatchman Akshay Wakhare in the second over of the day, having resumed from 13 for one.
However, left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya broke the alliance when he induced an edge from Shorey to press Himanshu Mantri into action behind the stumps.
Vidarbha were 90 for three then, and from there they lost Mokhade and Karun Nair (38) to be at 161 for five and a mere 79 runs ahead.
But Rathod, who is playing in only his seventh First-Class game, and Wadkar built a wall against the waves of MP attack.
The pitch too seemed to have eased out a lot more compared to the first two days, with the bounce getting low and slow.
Both Rathod and Wadkar exploited the conditions to the hilt to pile runs without much alarm as MP bowlers looked ragged.
However, Wadkar fell towards the end of the day to pacer Anubhav Agarwal. Wadkar’s loose drive away from the body was taken at second slip by a diving substitute fielder Sumit Kushwah.
Brief scores: Vidarbha: 170 & 2nd innings: 343/6 in 90 overs (Yash Rathod 97 batting, Akshay Wadkar 77, Aman Mokhade 59, Dhruv Shorey 40; Anubhav Agarwal 2/68) vs Madhya Pradesh: 252.
(With inputs from PTI)


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