Vidarbha’s Double Header
   Date :01-Nov-2022

Sports Reporter
IT WILL be an interesting battle when Akshay Wadkar-led Vidarbha will take on Nitish Rana’s Delhi in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy quarter-final at JU Second Campus, Salt Lake, Kolkata on Tuesday.
Vidarbha might be having a small advantage given that they have played their last game, the pre-quarterfinal against Chhattisgarh, at the same place and have a first hand information of the conditions. It was not an easy wicket to score runs but Vidarbha opener R Sanjay, who was drafted into the side for his first game of the tournament, came out with flying colours helping the team record a comfortable five-wicket win.
Vidarbha have got better and better with each game and are peaking at the right time. But with the knock-outs, the margin of error is very small for all the teams. Vidarbha batters have been complementing the bowlers who are doing a superb job under the wings of India seamer Umesh Yadav.
Yadav has time and again given the team required breakthroughs after having joined the team three games late. Most of his eight wickets in the five games have turned the course of the match. In young seamers Yash Thakur and Darshan Nalkande, who have 11 and ten wickets to their credit respectively, the pace side looks pretty balanced. Ditto with the spin department. Experienced left-arm spinner Aditya Sarvate (11 scalps) has been the go-to man for Wadkar. Akshay Karnewar of the same tribe and seasoned offie Akshay Wakhare, who has been exchanging places with Sarvate as Impact Player, have played their parts well.
Big-hitter Apoorv Wankhade, vice-captain Atharva Taide and Wadkar are the top run-getters while stumper Jitesh Sharma, with his controlled knocks, has been instrumental in few wins this season.
Delhi had finished second in Elite Group B with 24 points same as group toppers Punjab but with a poorer net run rate. Both teams had identical six wins and a loss from seven games each.
Explosive batsman Rana is third on the batters’ chart with 307 runs from as many outings with a century, a fifty and a strike rate of 143.45. India U-19 WC winning captain young Yash Dhull leads the chart with 324 runs from seven innings hitting three fifties and a strike rate of 137.28. Vidarbha bowlers will have to check these two guys at the top.
Incidentally, Rana, with his off-spin, is Delhi’s best placed bowler with 11 scalps. India seamer Navdeep Saini with nine wickets is their second best bowler at 38th spot in the bowlers’ list.
Bowling looks Delhi’s weak link and Vidarbha must exploit it fully to match their best position in the shortest format of domestic cricket — a semi-final place they achieved last season. Match starts 11 am.