Ranji semifinal: Cheteshwar Pujara’s friend Arpit Vasavada puts Saurashtra in control
Written by Devendra Pandey
| Mumbai |

Published: March 4, 2020 2:16:20 am


Saurashtra’s Arpit Vasavada scored 139 from 230 deliveries in the Ranji Trophy semifinal match towards Gujarat. (Source: Twitter/BCCIdomestic)

When he was 11 and began his cricketing journey underneath Arvind Pujara, Arpit Vasavada imbibed the batting ethos and have become shut mates with the coach’s son Cheteshwar. At 31, a 12 months youthful than Cheteshwar, Saurashtra’s gritty middle-order batsman craved a particular knock in a crunch recreation. A giant hundred, like his friend scores routinely, seeped in the batting methodology of coach Arvind. The left-handed batsman discovered himself in one such state of affairs in the semifinal towards Gujarat and with Cheteshwar not obtainable, he delivered, turning the sport on its head and perching Saurashtra on high.

When Saurashtra had been tottering at 15 for five in their second innings after letting Gujarat wriggle out of hassle with the bat, it appeared like that they had blown a fantastic alternative. But Vasavada’s 139 from 230 balls triggered a shocking comeback. Saurashtra made 274 and the 52-run first-innings lead swelled the goal to 327. Then Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat eliminated opener Priyam Panchal to depart Gujarat needing 320 runs on the ultimate day to enter the Ranji Trophy ultimate. They should go for the goal as a draw would terminate Gujarat’s journey in the event.

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Vasavada says he was relaxed as his crew started the second innings after taking a first-innings lead. But he didn’t anticipate 5 wickets to go down as rapidly as they did. It took important partnerships with Chetan Sakaria (45) and Chirag Jani, who hit 51 in a 109-run stand for the seventh wicket, to carry Saurashtra again in the competition.

“I never imagined that (five early wickets). I told Chetan [Sakaria] that we will take it over-by-over first and later try build a small partnership. The good thing was later, Chirag bhai [Jani] also batted well and we could manage to reach a safe total,” Vasavada mentioned.

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He additionally defined what the knock in a crunch recreation means to him. “I always wanted this. I have hit crucial 50-60s in crunch games but nobody remembers the fifties, everyone remembers a hundred. When Chetan got out, I said nothing doing, I will have to bat till the last.” 

Vasavada was the final batsman to fall, caught at deep square-leg, making an attempt a hook in pursuit of extra runs.

The left-hander was hopeful that seamer Chintan Gaja, who had taken the primary 5 wickets, received’t have the identical impact as soon as the ball misplaced its shine. “If you see, all the wickets fell with the new ball.”

He says he additionally felt that Gaja wasn’t discovering the correct line to left-handed batsmen like him and Sakaria. “Chintan was bowling well to right-handers but somehow he wasn’t finding his right line for left-handed batsman. Chetan and me took advantage of it. Now I am hoping our bowlers do the job on the final day. It will be a good contest.”

If the Saurashtra bowlers do the needul, it’ll additionally imply that Vasavada’s innings could be categorized as a match-winning hundred.

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