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Gurbani fuels Vidarbha's chance


20th December 2017
Rajnessh Gurbani's brilliant exhibition of swing and pace bowling turned the game on its head as Vidarbha needs three wickets more while Karnataka needs 87 more runs on the final day to qualify for Ranji Trophy final. At stumps, Karnataka was stumbling at 111/7.
Rajneesh Gurbani fired all cylinders and sprouted tremors to Karnataka batters by moving the ball both ways and made them dancing.Especially his second spell evoked magic as he picked up 4 wickets for 21 runs in 8 overs. He scalped prized Karun Nair to a beauty,which rallied Vidarbha to take driver's seat.
Defending 198,Umesh Yadav took a spectacular catch on his follow-through to dismiss the highest run-getter on current season, Mayank Agrawal,cheaply.Neral provided double blow in 20th over by picking up Samarth and Nischal in the first and sixth delivery of the over.Karun Nair and C M Gautam safely resisted more casualties as they went to tea at 69/3.
In the second over after tea, Gurbani got reward for his consistency.Karun Nair who seemed to be in same rhythm aa first innings was completely beate by the outward movement of a beauty and returned to the pavilion scoring 30runs.In the next over,Gurbani produced another gem,this time the ball jaffed back into Binny and Binny had no option whatsoever than to surrender to the pace and swing of the youngster,leaving Karnataka at 87/5.
Gurbani removed C M Gautam(24) to down the leg delivery.However, the ball seemed to miss the edge. Gurbani plumbed Gowtham which left Karntaka tottering at 104/7. Vidarbha would have one more in their bank if Wasim Jaffer could hold on to a regulation catch of Gopal at first slip.Umesh Yadav generated a genuine nick but Gopal got a lifeline on 0.However, Vinay Kumar(19 not out) and Shreyas Gopal(1not out) battled out the day and finished the day at 111/7. Neral picked up two wickets and Umesh got another one.
Earlier in the day, Vidarbha's first boundary with the bat came after 38minutes-that summed up how cautiously overnight duo dodged opposition bowling.They were happy to rotate the strike. Banking on shuttle movement of the pitch, Karnataka bowlers maintained discipline unlike yesterday. However, there is famous line that good ball does not always fetch a wicket. That's what happened when Stuart Binny bowled a loosener in his first delivery of the morning and calm Apoorv Wankhade hung his bat and gifted an edge to wide first slip Karun Nair,thus breaking crucial 72runs fifth wicket stand between Wankhade and G Satish.All of a sudden Vidarbha found themselves into trouble giving away three wickets within 12balls.Fluid Satish mistimed a hook shot and got caught at fine-leg ending a gutsy 81 off 168 balls.A A Wakhare was removed by Stuart Binny for naught reducing Vidarbha at 228/7. The lower-order chipped in with valuable runs at they finished second innings on 313.Sarvate added 18, 38 and 30 runs with Neral,Umesh and Gurbani respectively to sail Vidarbha past 300. Sarvate scored a fighting 55 runs off 92 as Vidarbha took a lead of 197 runs.Vinay Kumar and Stuart Binny got three wickets each. Mithun picked up two wickets,while Arvind Sreenath and Shreyas Gopal took wicket a each



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Ayan Das