With Wasim Jaffer unbeaten on 61, Vidarbha were 206 for four at stumps on Day 2 after bowling out Delhi for 295 earlier in the morning.
In the morning session, Rajneesh Gurbani (6/59) stole the show with a hat-trick to rattle Delhi ending the overnight stand between Dhruv Shorey and Vikas Mishra almost an hour into the day. He became only the second bowler after B Kalyansundaram (in 1972-73) to do so in a Ranji Trophy final.
“It is a fast bowler’s dream to take a hat-trick and take a five-wicket haul in the final, so it is a special feeling,” Gurbani said later. “I wasn’t thinking that I have to take a hat-trick and all that, but the situations happened, and it worked,” he added.
Speaking about his spell, Gurbani said, “My intent was always to take wickets and then by God’s grace I got wickets off all three balls. I got the first two wickets off the fifth and sixth ball, so when I came to bowl the next over it wasn’t on mind (that I am on a hat-trick). However, when I was on the run-up, someone in the crowd shouted ‘hat-trick ball’ and that’s when I realised it to be frank.”
Shorey, who had been the mainstay of the Delhi line-up returned to the pavilion for 145 off 293 deliveries leaving the team on 295 for nine. And couple of balls later, Gurbani disrupted Kulwant Khejroliya’s woodwork to deny Delhi the 300-run mark.
Speaking about his bowling, Gurbani who had been off the field in the later part of Day 1 said, “Yesterday, since I wasn’t feeling well I couldn’t bowl later. I wasn’t on the field either so today I wanted to be on the field and be able to bowl the first over. And I know if I bowl well, then the team will win. Since yesterday I was thinking that, tomorrow (Day 2) I have to bowl from the first over and give my best and prepared for that through the night keeping that in mind.”
To shape Vidarbha’s reply, captain, Faiz Fazal came out to the middle with SR Ramaswamy. The pair took the team to Lunch at 45 without loss. Resuming in the second session, the Vidarbha openers were in sync as they continued to build the innings. The skipper was on song as he brought up his half-century effortlessly while laying a solid platform for the team. The opening stand was worth 96 when Akash Sudan dislodged Ramaswamy’s bails. 11 runs later, Fazal departed nicking the pacer and Rishabh Pant took a good catch to leave Vidarbha on 107 for two.
Jaffer then saw the team to Tea at 129 for two with Ganesh Satish. In the second over of the final session though, Saini got the better of Satish to leave Vidarbha on 133 for three.
Apoorva Wankhede who then joined the top-order batsman in the middle helped add 73 to the total before edgeing Kulwant Khejroliya to the ‘keeper at the fag end of the day.
Jaffer then saw the team through the remainder of the session with A Wakhare. Vidarbha were trailing by 89 runs when play ended for the day.
Scorecard - http://www.bcci.tv/ranji-trophy-2017-18/match/91