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We had a poor first innings, that's where we fell short: Akshay Wadkar

Last updated on 14 Mar 2024 | 09:59 AM
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We had a poor first innings, that's where we fell short: Akshay Wadkar

Vidarbha were bowled out for just 105 in the first innings of the final and ended up conceding a lead of 119 runs

Vidarbha captain Akshay Wadkar hit a superb century in the fourth innings of the 2023-24 Ranji Trophy final against Mumbai but was quick to admit that the game was lost in the first innings. The wicketkeeper-batter scored 102 off 199 but couldn’t stop Mumbai from winning their 42nd Ranji title

Vidarbha had a good chance of taking control of the game when they bundled out Mumbai for 224 in the first innings. However, they themselves were bowled out for just 105 and ended up conceding a lead of 119 runs. Mumbai then piled up 418 in the second innings and set Vidarbha a target of 538 runs.

“We had a poor first innings. Our batting was clicking throughout, and after getting Mumbai out early in the first innings, we had to bat well. However, we couldn't do that and that's where we fell short in this final. Mumbai bowled really well, especially Dhawal Kulkarni,” said Wadkar, who scored his second century in a Ranji Trophy final. 

“The pitch was getting difficult to bat but Mumbai's batters showed great determination. We created a few chances - Musheer's run-out chance, Rahane's LBW going to the umpire's call. However, that partnership took the game away from us, and then the way Shreyas batted to score quickly. That took the momentum away from us.”

With 290 runs required and five wickets in hand on day five, Vidarbha had a massive challenge in front of them but Wadkar and Harsh Dubey (65) did extremely well to keep Mumbai at bay. The two put on 130 runs for the sixth wicket and put Mumbai under some pressure. However, once the partnership was broken, Mumbai had no trouble in cleaning up the tail.

“We just wanted to play it ball by ball and defend throughout and try to frustrate them. If we frustrated them, then they would do something silly. We thought of this partnership being the last main partnership because the batters after can defend, but run scoring would be tough.”

(Image credit - PTI)

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