For eight months of the year,Sachin Chaudhari cuts an intimidating figure in his khaki Maharashtra Police uniform. Chaudhari,posted as a constable in Jalgaon,undergoes a transformation when he pulls on his whites. The stern expression is replaced by a cherubic smile,which he wears even while delivering vicious bouncers and stinging yorkers. On Day Two of Maharashtras Ranji Trophy season-opener against Tripura,the smile remained plastered across his face all day.
Playing only his second first class match,the 27-year-old snapped up four wickets as Maharashtra bowled Tripura out for 304. Tripura added only 49 to their overnight total in losing their last three wickets.
Delivering the ball from a great height,the 64 Chaudhari extracts plenty of bounce. While he possesses a sharp outswinger,he says that the lack of an inswinger has let him down in the past.
On Monday,Chaudhari produced two unplayable inswingers. After 15 wicketless overs for the Maharashtra bowlers,Chaudhari got one to shape in and beat Rana Dutta to take his off bail. A couple of overs later,Chaudhari sneaked one through centurion Yogesh Takawales bat-pad gap,sending the off-stump for a walk. A couple of short balls into the body,followed by a yorker,sent last man Sanjay Majumder on his way.
With Tripura all out for 304,Maharashtra began fluently. Chirag Khurana and Harshad Khadiwale put on 40 before Khurana scooped a wide ball straight to point. Vijay Zol then added 90 with Khadiwale before rain brought play to an end 52 minutes early.
Brief scores: Tripura 304 in 109.5 overs (Y Takawale 125,T Chanda 43; S Chaudhari 4/44,S Mundhe 3/77) vs Maharashtra 133/1 in 47 overs (H Khadiwale 64*,V Zol 42*).