Kolkata, Dec 19: Middle-order batsman Ganesh Satish cracked a defiant unbeaten 50 to keep Vidarbha afloat in the Ranji Trophy semifil against heavyweights Kartaka by taking a 79-run lead and posting 195/4 at stumps on day III at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.
Bad light stopped play and 32 overs were wasted due to late start as conditions were overcast in the morning.
Resuming at 294/8, Kartaka were all out for 301 taking a lead of 116 runs but Satish (71 off 128b batting; 10x4) batted sensibly and was ably supported by Apoorv Wankhade (49 off 48b; 9x4) and Akshay Wadkar (19 batting).
For Kartaka, Sreeth Aravind was the pick of the bowlers returning figures of 2/41.
After play was delayed for an hour and five minutes due to bad light, Umesh Yadav (4/73) got the wicket of overnight batsman and skipper R. Viy Kumar (21) who was trapped in front trying to flick an innocuous delivery.
Soon after, Yadav — making the most of the conditions — brought an end to overnight centurion ir’s vigil (153 off 287; 20x4, 1x6). The second Indian to score a triple century got a feather through to wicketkeeper Akshay Wadkar off a short delivery which he tried to cut.
ir was batting on 148 on day two with Viy Kumar (20) for company. The pair, who had stiched together a 69-run stand for the ninth wicket partnership at stumps on Monday, saw their association coming to an end at 71.
Kartaka were all out for 301 taking a lead of 116 runs.
Vidarbha got off to a poor start with skipper Faiz Fazal (0) — this season’s second-highest run getter — failing in the second essay as well.
Viy Kumar, in only his second ball of the innnings, got the batsman lbw with an incoming delivery from the middle stump which Fazal tried to guide down the on side.
Sanjay Ramaswamy (17) did not last long either, falling to a gem of a Stuart Binny (1/46) delivery which pitched on off stump and took a faint outside edge off the bat to wicketkeeper C.M. Gautam.
Alongwith experienced hat Wasim Jaffer (33), Ramaswamy was trying to build a partnership (36) for the second wicket. But Jaffer also paid the price for playing across the line, getting lbw in the process off Aravind’s bowling.
Satish and Wankhade then steadied the ship somewhat, helping the first-time semifilists take the lead by stitching together a 88-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Satish and Wadkar joined hands for a 45-run unbroken partnership for the fifth wicket with work still to be done and two days of play left meaning Kartaka still have the upper hand.
Brief scores: Vidarbha 185 and 195/4 (Ganesh Satish 71 batting, Apporv Wankhade 49; Sreeth Aravind 2/41); Kartaka 301 (Karun ir 153, CM Gautam 73; Rajneesh Gurbani 5/94, Umesh Yadav 4/73). IANS