Saturday, December 29, 2007

Khadiwale stands tall

December 26, Maharashtra Herald

Suhrid Barua

Ratnagiri: There were strong lessons to be learnt from the batting debacles against Delhi and Saurashtra, but Maharashtra didn’t seem to learn anything as they came up with another toothless batting display and were shut out for 276 on day one of the Ranji Trophy Super League Group ‘A’ match against Karnataka at the Chatrapati Shivaji Stadium on Tuesday.
The State top-order dug in gamely and made steady progress with the opening duo of debutant Ankit Bawne (in fact, four players made their Ranji debut) and Harshad Khadiwale, raising 42 for the first wicket.
15-year-old Ankit never looked overawed by the big stage and showed that he has the material to go up the ladder. He essayed some elegant drives against the Karnataka new ball operators -Vinay Kumar and NC Aiyappa, who kept a probing line early on, beating the outside edge of both openers regularly but without any luck.
Ankit promised more before Vinay Kumar produced a ripper to induce a thick outside edge from the opener, who offered a sitter to gloveman Naidu. His opening partner Harshad Khadiwale took over and imposed himself on the Karnataka bowlers with grit and discipline. Harshad, a member of India U-19 squad, exuded maturity of a seasoned campaigner as he drove, flicked and cut with aplomb. He opened up in the post-lunch session, dealing in boundaries and arrived at his half-century square-cutting veteran left-arm tweaker Sunil Joshi to the point boundary.
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