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Ranji Trophy 2017/18 Final, Day 2 round-up: Vidarbha in pole position courtesy Rajneesh Gurbani hat-trick

553   //    30 Dec 2017, 18:20 IST

Rajneesh Gurbani bagged a hat-trick to limit Delhi to 295 in the first innings

Delhi 295 (Shorey 145, Himmat Singh 66; Gurbani 6/59) lead Vidarbha 206/4 (Fazal 67, Jaffer 61*; Akash Sudan 2/53) by 89 runs

One of Vidarbha's heroes of the season, Rajneesh Gurbani yet again swung the match in their favour with some sharp pace bowling. With overnight batsmen Dhurv Shorey and Vikas Mishra at the crease, Gurbani scripted history by bagging a hat-trick in the final, only the second bowler to do so, after B Kalyanasundaram for Tamil Nadu against Bombay in the 1972/73 season. He first sent back Mishra's off-stump, then clean bowled Navdeep Saini and on the first ball of his next over, removed top-scorer Shorey to get three in three. Shorey made 145 and Gurbani finished with excellent figures of 6/59 as Delhi got bowled out for 295, losing their last four wickets for merely five runs.

As has often happened this season, Vidarbha's openers Faiz Fazal and R Sanjay gave them a stable start by adding 96 for the first wicket. When they seemed set for yet another massive partnership - they have put on over 250 twice this season - little-known pacer Akash Sudan accounted for both openers in the space of four overs. Captain Fazal fell for 67 and Sanjay got 31 as Delhi began to get a foothold back in the game.

A partnership was not allowed to grow as Saini trapped Ganesh Satish in front of the stumps, but veteran batsman Wasim Jaffer and young Apoorv Wankhade stitched 73 runs to ensure Vidarbha ended the day in the ascendancy. Jaffer played glorious shots en route to his half-century but Wankhede fell for 28 towards the closing stages of the day to somewhat balance the proceedings at Indore, where Delhi lead by 89 runs with Vidarbha having six wickets in hand.

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A childhood cricket enthusiast, my earliest cricket memory goes back to the 2003 World Cup, when I was 7. With a hobby of cricket commentary and writing from my early days, I earned an invitation for employment by aged only 20, and have also had the opportunity to interact with the great analyst Harsha Bhogle.
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