Akshay Wadkar’s 133 run innings and more importantly his partnership with Aditya Sarwate helped Vidarbha finish their first innings score at 547 and now they have Delhi reeling at 164 for 3 with their trump card Gautam Gambhir back in the pavilion in the second innings.
"I just wanted to perform whenever I would get the chance. In the first match I could not but in the second - the quarter-final - we were not in a good position and I like performing under pressure so I did. I have the confidence for that. And sir [coach Chandrakant Pandit] also has the confidence in me," he adds.
The pressure when he walked in was big. In Wadkar's words, "It was crucial to build a partnership, if we had lost a wicket then we may not have taken a lead."
"We share a very good bonding so we know each other's strengths and weaknesses. We kept communicating, especially when one of us felt dicey or in doubt," he says.
When he came into bat after Wasim Jaffer’s wicket Vidarbha was still trailing by 49. His innings certainly showed his sense of maturity and understanding of the game situation.
"We wanted to play the entire day. [Pandit] sir had said: 'play as much as you can and try to stay unbeaten'. I did not even think I'd score a hundred. My only plan was to stay not out and make the team win with my contribution. I also got to score after I settled in," said Wadkar after playing a crucial hand in getting Vidarbha towards their maiden Ranji Trophy title.