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Batters help Vidarbha fightback against MP

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Nagpur, March 4: A spunky unbeaten 97 by Yash Rathod helped Vidarbha script a superb fightback and reach 343 for six in their second innings against Madhya Pradesh on the third day of their Ranji Trophy semifinal here on Monday.
Rathod, who faced 165 balls, received excellent support from his captain Akshay Wadkar (77, 139b) and the pair added 158 runs for the stubborn sixth wicket stand as the hosts recovered from a shaky 161 for five.
Vidarbha, now, lead by a handy 261 runs.
The first hint of resistance came when Dhruv Shorey (40, 65b) and Aman Mokhade (59, 100b) made 84 runs for the third wicket after Vidarbha lost nightwatchman Akshay Wakhare in the second over of the day after resuming from 13 for one.
However, left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya broke the alliance when he induced an edge from Shorey to press Himanshu Mantri into action behind the stumps.
Vidarbha were 90 for three then, and from there they lost Mokhade and Karun Nair (38) to be at 161 for five and a mere 79 runs ahead.
But Rathod, who is playing in only his seventh First-Class game, and Wadkar built a wall against the waves of MP attack.
The pitch too seemed to have eased out a lot more compared to the first two days, with the bounce getting low and slow.
Both Rathod and Wadkar exploited the conditions to the hilt to pile runs without much alarm as MP bowlers looked ragged.
However, Wadkar fell towards the end of the day to pacer Anubhav Agarwal. Wadkar’s loose drive away from the body was taken at second slip by a diving substitute fielder Sumit Kushwah. (PTI)

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