The 2019 edition of the Duleep Trophy came to an end with India Red, defeating the India Green by an innings and 38 runs in Bangalore. Though Abhimanyu Easwaran was adjudged the Player of the Match, another player who impressed was Akshay Wakhare. After India Green put on 231 on the board, Easwaran’s 300-ball 153 guided India Red to a formidable score of 388 runs.
It also meant that they got a crucial lead of 157 runs after the first innings. It was then that Wakhare weaved his magic with his slow off-breaks. The 33-year-old started wreaking havoc from the middle order. He got his first wicket in the form of Akshay Wadkar. From thereon, the Maharashtra-born triggered a collapse and outdrew anyone and everyone, who stomped on to his path.
Akshay Wakhare decimates India Green
Thereafter, he got rid of Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Tanveer-ul-Haq and Ankit Rajpoot in no time. The wicket-churning spree ripped the heart out of the India Green team. All this while, the experienced Siddhesh Lad was there at the non-striker’s end. He scored 42 out of 119 runs India Green got in their second innings. He was the last wicket to fall to the guile of Wakhare.
Wakhare was arguably their standout bowler after going wicket-less in the first innings. He picked up a five-wicket haul and didn’t allow the India Green batters to get the measure of him. At the first-class circuit, Wakhare has played 75 matches in which he has 263 wickets with 19 fifers. Most importantly, he was a part of Vidarbha in the last two seasons when the team won the Ranji Trophy.
In the meantime, Harbhajan Singh, the legendary Indian off-spinner, was delighted with the way Wakhare bowled in the Duleep Trophy. Bhajji even went on to say that Wakhare can got on to make his debut for the Indian Test team.
The veteran tweaker took to Twitter and wrote, “Akshay wakhare consistent performer with the ball from last couple of years in 1st class cricket back to back Ranji trophy champion last two years.Great spell yesterday 5 for 13 against india green.winning another championship for his team.way to go.Indian test squad calling.”
Here is Harbhajan’s tweet
Akshay wakhare consistent performer with the ball from last couple of years in 1st class cricket back to back Ranji trophy champion last two years.Great spell yesterday 5 for 13 against india green.winning another championship for his team.way to go.Indian test squad calling 🏏💪 pic.twitter.com/RcSPcJefcL
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) September 8, 2019
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