Mumbai v Maharashtra, Ranji Trophy, quarter-final, Mumbai, 4th day January 11, 2014

Jadhav, Zol dump Mumbai out of Ranji Trophy


Maharashtra 280 (Bawne 84, Thakur 6-86) and 252 for 2 (Jadhav 120*, Zol 91*) beat Mumbai 402 (Suryakumar 120, Fallah 4-103) and 129 (Sanklecha 4-57, Fallah 3-45, Mundhe 3-26)

Eleven minutes before tea, Kedar Jadhav pulled Shardul Thakur for a boundary through square leg, picked up a stump and raised his arms in air. Vijay Zol ran towards him and hugged him. Then, the Mumbai slip cordon, stunned by the onslaught of the preceding 108 minutes, took turns to congratulate the Maharashtra duo.

On a Wankhede Stadium track where pace bowlers had dominated the proceedings of the first three days, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Zol's unbeaten third wicket partnership of 215 runs helped Maharashtra run down a stiff target of 252 runs with eight wickets to spare. The win meant Maharashtra entered the Ranji Trophy semi-finals for the first time in 17 years.

The dominance of Jadhav, remained unbeaten on 120 after scoring his fifth century of the season, and Zol, the India Under-19 captain, showed his prowess at the first-class level with an unbeaten 91. The match was full of firsts for Maharashtra. Their third victory against Mumbai in 62 outings was their first in a knockout game against the domestic giants. Jadhav became the first batsman this season to go past the 1000-run mark, and the duo's 215-run association was Maharashtra's highest ever partnership for any wicket against Mumbai. The previous best was Kamal Bhandarkar and Ranga Sohoni's opening stand of 204 back in 1940-41, Maharashtra's last victorious Ranji campaign.

The demolition was divided in two parts during Saturday's two sessions. Starting the day at 28 for 1, 224 runs adrift the target, Maharashtra's first target was to see off the new ball without losing too many wickets. However, Zaheer Khan bowled at full steam and took just 19 minutes to strike. Harshad Khadiwale was caught in no man's land off the 25th ball of the morning off a Zaheer short ball that he could only lob it to Kastubh Pawar in the slip cordon.

Then came the moment that eventually proved to be decisive. Zaheer brought on Abhishek Nayar as the first change and in his opening over, he managed to entice Zol into a miscued drive. To everyone's disbelief, Pawar dropped a regulation catch at short point.

From then on, till the first drinks break, Zol joined Jadhav in not going after anything that was even slightly outside off stump. The duo left the ball, frustrating the Mumbai bowlers, and once the ball had lost its shine, slowly started playing their shots. In the 32.2 overs in the first session, Maharashtra had got to 111 for 2, having added 83 runs to their overnight total.

With the target 141 runs away, Mumbai had to contain the duo up front after the break, even while trying to get the breakthrough. However, Jadhav and Zol came out and switched gears without any trouble. Jadhav, whose 35 runs till lunch had come off 77 balls, took just nine more balls to cross fifty. Then, he raced from fifty to hundred in 38 balls. In the last over before the session's drinks break, he charged down the pitch and hit three massive sixes off left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar, sealing Mumbai's fate.

Zol, who had flicked Zaheer for three boundaries in the opening session, then expressed himself. His twin drives down the ground, on either side of the wicket, off Zaheer, was the highlight of his knock. The winning shot was followed by a wave of the bat from Jadhav, directed towards his bowling unit, which had set up the remarkable turnaround by winding up Mumbai's second innings for 129 on the third afternoon.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    among the entire renji players i feel kedar jadav is the most suitable player to be in the national team along with sanju samson

  • Aamir on January 12, 2014, 11:05 GMT

    Well played Maha. You have done it. It was so heart breaking to see this team underperform for somany seasons. Its a usual perception Maha cricketers don't go on to play for India. Maybe this may change after worldcup 2015. Kedar Jadhav can be a good cover for Raina, Yuvi in middle order for this T20 worldcup.

  • Android on January 12, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    Time for Zaheer to go. J'burg and this Mumbai pitch were as seamer friendly as it gets. And still his returns are still poor

  • Dhairy on January 11, 2014, 22:34 GMT

    Kedar Jadhav & Vijay Zol. I hope this two get chance in team when they are inform.

    Sometime batsmen lose their same form & confidence after 5 years and they get national call up. If they can't play well you tell them they are not International level players.

    So plese don't do same with Jadav/Zol & give them national call up when they are at their best.

    I am happy to say thatthis team is selecting on base of current form.-Panday & Binny going to NZ.

  • Himanshu on January 11, 2014, 17:07 GMT

    Everyone's excited about Vijay Zol but without a doubt the most exciting batsman in the Maharashtra side and who is more deserving of a place in the Indian team right now is Kedar Jadhav. Throughout this tournament he has not only scored big runs but has also scored them at a strike rate of around 80. It's that kind of player that needs to be rewarded a place in the national side, since those kind of players have the ability to win more matches for their team. He's like a middle-order Sehwag.

  • uma on January 11, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    jadhav is not one who to play not just for any ipl team but one to try for national squad for sure. pls selectors get him few games. he might become a vital player for india.

  • Mayuresh on January 11, 2014, 16:10 GMT

    Great all-round performance by the Maha Team. Zol has already been labelled as "Run-making machine" and he proved the title was not a hype. Kedar has been outstanding for a good time now. The bowling unit too is well set with bowlers like Sankleja. I really hope this time round Maha takes the Ranji Trophy, they deserve it with the consistency they have displayed as a Team.

  • Rajesh on January 11, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    Great knock from Kedar Jadhav. It is his consistency that stands out. Century after century from him. This must be the best century that he scored in his career, considering the opposition and the stage. Not to forget Zol's knock as well. Good performance from the young man as well. I hope Zol maintains the consistency for next 3 seasons as that would make him ready to play for India. Good performance from Maharashtra. Amchi Maratha knocks out Amchi Mumbai!

  • Android on January 11, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    Great win for Maharashtra. Zol should be groomed carefully. he is Imdia material. Ramrsh

  • Vinod on January 11, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    it is a pity that talents such as jadhav and zol were ignored for all this while by the IPL teams of Pune and Mumbai. This was their catchment area. Jadhav had to play for Delhi and Zol, I think, was picked by RCB but never played him. i hope at least one of them is picked by MI this time and played regularly.

    zol's rise has been spectacular. he has done well in U-19 and has done remarkably well on A tours also. hope he plays for IND in a couple of years in Raina's place.

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