Captains who make bold moves are often rewarded and, on Sunday afternoon, Vidarbha skipper Ganesh Satish, defending a modest total of 143, was called upon to make a tactical move on a dry surface in a Group B Super League match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament at the scenic Emerald Heights international School ground.
The Vidarbha spinners had completed their quota of overs and, perforce, Satish had to make a choice between left-arm seamer Shrikant Wagh and India spearhead Umesh Yadav. He chose Wagh ahead of Umesh in the crucial 17th over when Uttar Pradesh needed 37.
Satish’s decision clicked as Vidarbha scored a 10-run win against Uttar Pradesh and now looks forward to take on Mumbai in another important league match at the Holkar Stadium on Monday.
Playing his second match for Vidarbha, Umesh lifted a massive six over wide long-on in the 20th over to help his side’s score swell to 143 in 20 overs. But operating the first over with the new ball, he conceded 16 runs to Uttar Pradesh opener Upendra Yadav who struck two fours and one six. This, perhaps, weighed in Satish’s mind when his side had completed 16 overs and when Uttar Pradesh was in with a chance to pull off a win with opener Samarth Singh in the middle.
Not a regular in the Vidarbha Ranji team — he has played a match each in the last two seasons against Chattisgarh and Karnataka — Wagh, after being hit for six off the first ball of the 19th over, responded to his captain’s call by dismissing Samarth caught at deep-cover and Ankit Choudhary on the on-side.
The fall of two wickets put the match beyond Uttar Pradesh which needed 15 runs off the last over that was sent down by Umesh with control.
“We scored 27 runs in the last two overs, that’s why we won the match. We also chose a third spinner Ravi Jangid after seeing the previous match between Karnataka and Delhi,” said Vidarbha coach Chandrakant Pandit.
Vidarbha has two wins in two matches, but it will have to put it across Mumbai and Karnataka in the last Group B league in order to reach the final.
Before the Vidarbha-Uttar Pradesh thriller, Karnataka trounced Delhi to lead to the table with 12 points. Seamer Vasuki Koushik took four wickets to take his tally to eight in three Super League matches. Leg-spinner K.C. Cariappa scalped three.
The scores: Group A: Jharkhand 126 for nine in 20 overs (Virat Singh 27, Anukul Roy 37 n.o., Writtic Chatterjee three for 12, Shahbaz Ahmed two for 21, Akash Deep two for 24) lost to Bengal 127 for two in 13 overs (Shreevats Goswami 86 n.o., Varun Aaron two for 24).
Gujarat 143 for nine in 20 overs (Chirag Gandhi 35, Dominic Muthuswami two for 42, Divyang Hinganekar two for 23) lost to Maharashtra 149 for six in 19.5 overs (N.S. Shaikh 28, A.N. Kazi 39 n.o., Divyang Hinganekar 35 n.o., Hemang Patel two for 14, Piyush Chawla two for 24).
Group B: Delhi 109 for nine in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 37, Lalit Yadav 33, Vasuki Koushik four for 19, K.C. Cariappa three for 15) lost to Karnataka 112 for two in 15.3 overs (Mayank Agarwal 43 n.o., Karun Nair 42 n.o.).
Vidarbha 143 for seven in 20 overs (Atharva Taide 41, Mohsin Khan two for 40, Ankit Chaudhary two for 28) bt Uttar Pradesh 133 for nine in 20 overs (Samarth Singh 39, Shrikant Wagh three for 25, Akshay Karnewar two for 29).