Like father, like son
Moti Bagh has always catered to the needs of the spinners. But the one used for the game between Baroda and Madhya Pradesh had a different look. The pitch had bounce but didn’t offer prodigious turn. MP were on the back foot after conceding a 27-run first innings lead. Mihir Hirwani’s five-for, however, had the kept them within striking distance. Still, Baroda were expected to knock off 262 in the fourth innings. They lost by 87 runs. Hirwani bagged 4/41. In his third first-class fixture, Narendra Hirwani’s son returned with a match haul of nine wickets to take the Man of the Match award.
Waqar, the visionary
Mukesh Kumar didn’t have bowling shoes when he was spotted by Waqar Younis during the CAB’s Vision 20-20 camp last season. On his first-class debut against Haryana at Lahli, the Bengal medium pacer got the prize wicket of Virender Sehwag and eventually finished with 4/53 in the first innings. He was a reason why the visitors finished stronger in the game.
Only in his second first-class game, Aditya Sarwate was asked to open the bowling in the second innings as Vidarbha defended a modest 244 against Maharashtra. Heat was on and the left-arm spinner was game. He removed Harshad Khadiwale and then came back to decimate the lower middle-order. Together with his senior partner Akshay Wakhare (6/48), the 25-year-old secured an 82-run victory.
PK, show’s still on
Mihir Hirwani’s five-for, however, had the kept them within striking distance. Strode in Praveen Kumar with his swingers and cutters. A devastating spell of medium pace bowling (5/16) saw the hosts collapse to 100 all out. Young left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar had a 10-wicket match haul, but it was PK’s burst that all but decided the contest.
Back in the swing
Jaydev Unadkat had spent almost an entire season nursing a lower back injury. He had very little chance to bowl in the first three matches this term as Saurashtra played on Rajkot turners. But given a proper opportunity, the left-arm seamer had 6/80 in the first innings against Services. Saurashtra’s four-wicket win was an icing on the cake.
Fixtures: Bengal vs Vidarbha; Delhi vs Maharashtra; Gujarat vs Baroda; Haryana vs Assam; HP vs Services; Jharkhand vs J&K; Karnataka vs Odisha ; Kerala vs Tripura; MP vs Railways; Mumbai vs UP; Saurashtra vs Goa; TN vs Andhra.