Karnataka v Maharashtra, Ranji Trophy, final, Hyderabad, 4th day February 1, 2014

Another ton for Jadhav but Karnataka still on course

The Report by Karthik Krishnaswamy in Hyderabad

Maharashtra 305 and 272 for 6 (Jadhav 112, Bawne 61, Vinay 4-84) lead Karnataka 515 (Rahul 131, Satish 117, Fallah 3-74) by 62 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Before he walked in to bat on Saturday, Kedar Jadhav had made scores of 51, 120*, 40 and 37 in his four previous innings. Across those four innings, he had scored 66.94% of his runs in fours and sixes. On Saturday, Karnataka had a plan against him. They spread their fields. At times, they had four fielders in the deep. More often, they had between five and seven men guarding the boundary.

Cricket fans of the future, and those of the present who didn't watch the match, might look at the scorecard of the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy final and imagine that Jadhav's 135-ball 112 was a daring backs-to-the-wall counterattack full of thrilling strokes. Jadhav, though, had good reason to feel this was the easiest of his six centuries this season.

When Jadhav walked in to bat, after Vijay Zol had edged Vinay to the keeper first ball after lunch, Maharashtra were 54 for 2 in their second innings.

Between Zol's dismissal and tea, Maharashtra scored 110 runs off 149 balls. Only 32 of those runs came in boundaries. At tea, they were only 46 behind, with eight wickets in hand and their two best batsmen, Jadhav and Ankit Bawne, batting on 55 and 59. Even when Bawne was on strike, Karnataka's fields hadn't changed in any marked way. Early in the second session, Bawne, batting on 13, had edged S Aravind for successive fours through the vacant slip region.

Karnataka had meant to keep the scoring rate down. They ended up gifting easy runs to Maharashtra. They took four wickets in the final session and ended the day right on top, with Maharashtra six down with a lead of just 62, but that was by no means proof that their tactics had worked.

For one, they had conceded 272 runs in 68 overs. On the third day, against Maharashtra's more conventional defensive fields, they had scored 240 in 90. Maharashtra's batsmen, moreover, played a large role in their own dismissals in the final session.

In the second over after tea, legspinner Shreyas Gopal went around the wicket and aimed at the rough outside leg stump. Fourth ball of the over, Bawne came out of his crease a touch early, a touch too eagerly, and missed the line by yards, leaving CM Gautam an easy stumping to complete. Bawne was out for 61; he had taken 39 singles and three twos.

Before the third ball of Gopal's next over, Karnataka moved their short fine-leg to a deepish square-leg, their deepish square-leg to deep midwicket, and their deep midwicket to short fine-leg. All of this may have confused Sangram Atitkar, who promptly top-edged a slog-sweep, out of the rough, to the short fine-leg, who had been stationed for exactly that shot.

Jadhav and new man Chirag Khurana continued taking the singles on offer. The first 50 runs of their partnership contained just two fours, but still only consumed 70 balls. When they brought up that landmark, Maharashtra were 14 runs ahead, with six wickets in hand.

Two overs later, Jadhav went to 94 by cutting occasional legspinner Amit Verma to deep point for a single. He swept him fine for four when he got back on strike, and worked the next ball for two off his pads to bring up his century, off just 118 balls.

The fifth-wicket partnership had moved to 88 when Khurana sliced a full-toss from Vinay Kumar straight to cover. This was Vinay's 299th wicket. In his next over, he had his 300th. Once again, it was Robin Uthappa who took the catch at cover, after Jadhav spooned another full toss straight to him.

Karnataka had started the fourth day with an overwhelming advantage, and their last three pairs had extended it by adding 41 runs in the morning. Through most of the third innings, they had let that advantage drift to an alarming degree. But with mere minutes to go for stumps, it had been almost entirely restored.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor in ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on February 2, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    Vinay Kumar is just a waste of time. But Manish Pandey is a genuine talent. He is probably better than Rohit Sharma but there is a Bombay lobby behind Rohit Sharma which has succeeded in drilling the message that R.Sharma will be next big thing by repeating it 100 times a day. Now even Dhoni seems to have bought the proposition. Pandey if slightly more consistent could replace Rohit Sharma.

  • AbdulHameed on February 2, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    LOL, another spearhead of Indian bowling. What a joke man? With his 115-120 pace international batsmen will clot him all over the stadium. Every over he bowls one or rwo short pitched deliveries which is cannon fodder. Are you people kidding?!!

  • Sharath on February 2, 2014, 1:18 GMT

    Very defensive tactics from Karnataka and even that has failed. Even batting out 50 overs on a final day chasing around 125 is difficult. The approach should have been to get Maharashtra All Out for less than 200 runs and win the match by an innings. If their aggression had succeeded, then Karnataka could have resorted to defensive tactics. Even in an earlier match against UP in the quarter finals, Ktaka tried to protect their batsmen from swing bowling and sent in tailenders top of the order. A team that is playing well is not thinking well. Also, Ranji Trophy must be a stepping stone for the players to play for the country. With such tactics, it sends a clear message that the players skills is not good enough for the next level. The coach must not only think of winning but provide a platform for his players to get the mindset to improve and play for India. A positive mindset and the right mental attitude is key for the next level and this must be inculcated in the team

  • sid on February 1, 2014, 22:04 GMT

    Agree with @Raghav1981 Vinay has not played outside India yet (but for one test in Perth, and couple of ODI's in Zimbabwe). Let him play in England, people can see how good his swing is.

  • Raghavendra on February 1, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    yeah I agree with @abhishek , vinay was the best bowler with most wickets and most time breaked the good going partnership in aus Ind odi series 2013. he performed badly only in last match (where rohit hit double century ) and been dropped from the team. where as in the same series ishant and bhuvi performed badly but still continued in the team. same happened with unadkat after good performance in zim series. and with dinesh kartik after very good performance inchampions trophy. where as raina continued after series of worst performances. Not sure what dhoni/selectors think?

  • Android on February 1, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    if maharastra lead by more than 150... could be difficult to chase. krntka need to bundle up remaining wickets in first session...

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2014, 16:58 GMT

    2 main reasons why Vinay Kumar isn't successful in international cricket:

    1. Short ball: He should know his limitations and bowl stump to stump. But, he keeps on bowling short, with no pace, which are treated in disdain by international players and domestic batsmen don't put them away. Bowls at least 2 such balls/over.

    2. Yorkers: He tries to bowl yorkers and they often end up as full tosses and get hit for miles.

    In fact, what people keep telling is he doesn't have pace is just isn't right, he bowls a 3-6 kmph more than Praveen and Irfan but doesn't swing as much as them.

    He is a intelligent cricketer, fine captain in domestic circuit. But reason 1 and 2 have let him down. In fact, he hasn't improved one bit on them. Even today he picked up 2 wickets of attempted yorkers turned into full tosses.

    ps. He has 300 FC wickets at 24. Stats don't lie. This is for who may argue he isn't even good at domestic circuit.

  • Rajesh on February 1, 2014, 16:43 GMT

    Hats off to Maharashtra for putting up a spirited display. Bawne & Jadhav were awesome. Khurana provided good support. If they manage a lead of 150+, it would become very interesting, considering the inconsistent Karnataka batsmen. Vinay, normally a very good proactive captain, was at his worst today. The moment Zol hit couple of boundaries, slips and fielders within the circle vanished and it was all defensive fielding & bowling. Karnataka made 2 big mistakes. 1.They were too slow in the last session of 3rd day and ended up at least 40 runs short on their 1st innings total. 2.With a lead of 210 runs they took it easy and were relaxed and let Maharashtra score freely in the 2nd session today. Hope these mistakes will not prove costly. But the hero of the day was Jadhav. I wanted him to get out early as it would helped Karnataka, but I also enjoyed and really appreciated his remarkable poise and stroke play. It was also nice watching Shreyas' 2nd spell. Very good day's cricket it was.

  • Rajesh on February 1, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    Today, it is perfect reporting!

  • Android on February 1, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    Robin uttappa And pandey diserve to be 20 cup squad and one day squad

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