Saurashtra cruised to a seven-wicket win over Vidarbha in the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy thanks to disciplined efforts from its seam bowlers here on Wednesday.
Opting to field, the Saurashtra pacers – led by captain Jaydev Unadkat – picked wickets regularly and ran through the Vidarbha batting order easily to bowl them out for just 150.
If not for Apoorv Wankhede’s late surge of 72 (69b, 5×4, 5×6), Vidarbha was staring at a real possibility of being bowled out for less than 100.
In its chase, despite losing three quick wickets, a 116-run unbroken stand between Prerak Mankad (77 not out, 72b, 10×4, 2×6) and Arpit Vasavada (41 not out, 66b, 6×4) ensured Saurashtra reached the target in under 30 overs to set up a semifinal clash against Tamil Nadu on Friday.
Unadkat struck twice early removing in-form Atharva Taide, caught brilliantly by keeper Sheldon Jackson diving to his right, and then had Ganesh Satish bowled with a beautiful incoming delivery.
READ: Tamil Nadu decimates Karnataka in quarterfinals
Skipper Faiz Fazal held fort at one end and stitched a small partnership with Akshay Wadkar for the fourth-wicket stand.
Medium-pacer Mankad however gave the breakthrough removing Wadkar playing on to his stumps. Soon, Fazal fell when he chased a wide one from Chirag Jani and edged it to the slip fielder undoing all the hard work he had done to leave Vidarbha tottering at 66-5.
Then left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja struck twice off successive deliveries to reduce Vidarbha to 86/8. Wankhede then turned the heat on as he went after the spinners Jadeja and leg-spinner Yuvraj Chudasama. He was particularly severe against Jadeja, hitting him for four sixes and a boundary as he raced to his half-century before eventually being dismissed by Chudasama.
Defending a paltry total, Vidarbha started on a promising note with pacer Aditya Thakare removing the openers quickly. When Jackson fell, Saurashtra was in trouble at 35/3 before Mankad and Vasavada took charge.
Vasavada started with three boundaries off Lalit Yadav through the off-side with beautiful drives and a late cut. Soon Mankad joined the party as well, going after Lalit picking three boundaries in an over and attacking the spinners with ease to seal the chase.
The scores: Vidarbha 150 in 40.3 overs (Apoorv Wankhede 72) lost to Saurashtra 151/3 in 29.5 overs (Prerak Mankad 77 not out, Arpit Vasavada 41 not out).