When Maharashtra and Saurashtra teams take on each other in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament on Friday, Ruturaj Gaikwad, who is in excellent rhythm with the bat, will have the challenge of overcoming the sharp bowling of domestic legend Jaydev Unadkat. Saurashtra’s Unadkat’s opening spell had no answer for the Karnataka batsmen in the semi-finals. Maharashtra opener Gaikwad, on the other hand, ensured the team’s victory by scoring big centuries against Uttar Pradesh and Assam in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
Gaikwad could not play the initial few matches of the team but still he has hit 552 runs in four matches of the tournament. This also includes the List A record of hitting seven sixes in an over. He scored 220 in this match against Uttar Pradesh and then scored 168 in the semi-final against Assam. His teammate Ankit Bawne has scored 571 runs in eight matches during this period. Rahul Tripathi scored 524 runs during the league stage but will not be available for the final. Rahul is in Bangladesh for the three-match ODI series. In comparison, Saurashtra’s batting has not shown much stamina. Samarth Vyas (431 runs) is the team’s highest run-scorer but has lost his cool after scoring a double hundred in the early stages of the tournament. Wicketkeeper Harvik Desai scored an impressive 390 during this period.
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The presence that Gaikwad has with the bat is in the Maharashtra team, Unadkat is doing the same with the ball for Saurashtra. The experienced Unadkat, who took 67 wickets in the last Ranji season, has averaged 3.43 and picked up 18 wickets in this ODI tournament so far. The team’s left-arm spinner Dharmendra Jadeja (15 wickets) and fast bowler Chetan Sakaria (12 wickets) have also impressed by taking wickets with economical bowling. In such a situation, this match will be between the bowlers of Saurashtra and the batsmen of Maharashtra. The match will start at 9 am.