Veteran Abhijit Kale hammered an unbeaten 158 as Maharashtra raced to a first innings lead over Baroda on the second day of their West Zone Ranji Trophy league match at the IPCL ground in Baroda on Saturday. Replying to Baroda's first innings total of 273, Maharashtra were 320 for seven wickets at close.
Resuming at two for no loss, Maharashtra lost opener D Jadhav quickly and then veteran opener Surender Bhave (19) left at 54. Kale, who entered at this stage, and skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar (55) added 55 runs for the third wicket off 12.2 overs. Kanitkar faced just 62 balls, hitting ten of them to the ropes. Then in the company of KD Aphale (23), Kale was concerned in a stand of 52 runs off 19.5 overs. Two more wickets fell fairly quickly and Maharashtra were 183 for six. Then Kale and M Sane (45) pushed Maharashtra in front with a seventh wicket partnership of 106 runs off 30.2 overs. By stumps, the 27-year-old Kale, had batted a shade over five hours, faced 199 balls and hit 22 fours in his aggressive knock. After reaching his 100 off 152 balls, Kale raced to 150 off only another 43 balls. VN Buch finished the day with four for 76.