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BCCI Staff in Mumbai 11 January 2014 - 03:43pm IST

Report: QF - Mum vs Mah, Day 4

Zol, Jadhav power Maharashtra to semis

With a boundary off Shardul Thakur, Kedar Jadhav sealed a victory for Maharashtra over Mumbai and a spot in the semi-final of the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 season. Young Vijay Zol (91*) and experienced campaigner Kedar Jadhav (120*) propelled the visitors to a comprehensive eight- wicket at the Wankhede Stadium. In a nerveless display, the pair, after coming together at 37 for two, built an unbroken 215-run partnership to attain the target with ease.

After an inspired performance by the Anupam Sanklecha-led attack to bowl Mumbai out for 129 on the third day, the batsmen chased down the 252-run target with clinical precision. Maharashtra had last reached the semi-final in the 1996-97 season of the Ranji Trophy.

Earlier, with Maharashtra on 28 for one, Zol came out to bat with Harshad Khadiwale, who was batting on his overnight score of six. Zaheer Khan, who had claimed Chirag Khurana the previous evening, provided the hosts their first breakthrough of the day by sending back the opener. Done in by the short ball, Khadiwale who had bided his time at the crease was back in the dressing room for 10.

About 20 minutes into the first session, Jadhav joined Zol in the middle. Zol was dropped by Kaustubh Pawar off Abhishek Nayar’s first over while on three. But after the initial jitters, the youngster settled in to carry the innings forward. In the company of the senior batsman, the youngster began to garner runs.

With time not a concern, Zol and Jadhav batted at an unhurried pace and shaped the innings to keep Maharashtra in the game. Without taking undue risks, the pair took Maharashtra to 111 for two at lunch. In the process, Jadhav also became the highest run-getter of the season.
They continued to chip away at the target in the second session. Finding the gaps to reach the boundary and plucking singles to keep the scoreboard ticking, the Maharashtra batsmen looked to tip the balance in their favour.

As the innings progressed, thick edges too penetrated the field and reached the ropes. Jadhav was the first to reach his half-century with a boundary off Iqbal Abdullah, while Zol brought up his 50 with a four off Nayar in the next over. The duo took their team past 150 in the first half of the post-lunch session.

By continuing to milk the bowlers, the batsmen inched towards the 252-run target. Jadhav launched an assault over the hosts’ attack. He lofted Vishal Dabholkar thrice over long-on the over before drinks to collect 18 runs from it and take the team to 196 for two.

Edging one between the first slip and the wicketkeeper, Jadhav brought up the 200-run mark for the team. While Zol stoically held up one end, Jadhav launched into the Mumbai attack. Boundaries became more frequent for the visiting team as they inched towards victory. Zol too joined his partner in pilfering runs. He struck Zaheer Khan for boundaries on either side of the wicket to reach 85.

Having seized the advantage, Jadhav reached his fifth century of the season with a boundary to Shardul Thakur. The pair then took the partnership past 200 as they inched towards a memorable win. Although he remained unbeaten, Zol missed out on a well-deserved century as Maharashtra reached the target before tea.