Pacer Yash Thakur got timely breakthroughs in his for wicket haul as Vidarbha defeated Tripura by 34 runs to enter the quarter-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Sunday. Vidarbha will now face Saurashtra in the quarter-final on December 22.
Batting first, Vidarbha rode on half-centuries by Yash Rathod (57 off 63 balls) and Atharva Taide (51 off 58 balls) to post a decent 258/7 on the board and then bowled the opposition out for 224 in 49.2 overs despite a 96 run opening stand. But it was Thakur (4/45), who then grabbed three quick wickets and derailed the opposition. Tripura also had two run-outs in the process as they slipped to 164/6 in 38.3 overs and never recovered from thereon.
At the onset, Vidarbha lost in-form skipper Faiz Fazal (0) in the second over as the side was poised at 1/1.
Then Taide and one-down Ganesh Satish (40 off 70 balls; 4×4) played responsibly and steadied the innings with their 81-run stand. Taide, who hammered seven boundaries, was the more aggressive one even as Satish played a perfect second fiddle. But when it looked like the duo would score big, Amit Ali (1/42) trapped Satish in front of the wicket in the 22nd over. They pegged back Vidarbha by removing a well-set Taide, who was caught by Bikram Kumar Das (61) off seamer Manisankar Murasingh (2/41). Vidarbha was in a spot of bother at 104/3. Then Rathod (5×4) and wicket-keeper Akshay Wadkar (41 off 59 balls; 3×4) not only brought back Vidarbha into contention but ensured that their bowlers had a total to defend.
The duo added 92 runs for the fourth wicket as they toyed with the Tripura attack. Courtesy their partnership, Vidarbha neared the 200-run mark. But Tripura struck twice by removing both Rathod and Wadkar in quick succession as they slipped to 206/5. Then Apoorv Wankhede (26) and Aditya Sarvate (25 not out) added 44 runs for the sixth wicket in just five overs which helped Vidarbha cross the 250-run mark. Chasing 259, Tripura were off to a fine start with openers Bishal Ghosh (44) and Das adding 96 for the first wicket. After Ghosh departed, former Gujarat batter Samit Gohil (32) joined Das, as the two added another 49 runs. But then Thakur struck in quick succession to turn the match head on. Darshan Nalkande (3/41) ran through the lower-order and scripted a memorable win for his side.