Mumbai: A hurricane century by Kedar Jadhav helped Maharashtra start their campaign on a winning note as they defeated Gujarat by 43 runs, in the West Zone leg Vijay Hazare Trophy, on Wednesday.
Chasing a mammoth 331 in their 50 overs at the Mumbai Cricket Association`s BKC Stadium here, Gujarat, despite the heroics of opener Priyank Panchal, who scored a brilliant 129 (117b, 4x17), were bowled out for 287 in the 46th over.
Jadhav remained unbeaten on 107 which came off just 68 balls. Reaching the three figure knock in just 64 balls, Jadhav, in the company of Nikhil Paradkar 87 not out (70b, 4x9, 6x1), rescued Maharashtra from a precarious 131-4 in the 28th over and added 199 runs in 22.2 overs.
Jadhav`s breath-taking innings was studded with ten fours and four sixes.
Earlier, skipper Rohit Motwani 71 (79b, 7x4) and the talented Ankit Bawne 52 (76b, 5x4) added 125 runs for the third wicket after Maharashtra, electing to bat first, began horribly, losing both their openers within three overs with just six runs on the board.
The duo was dismissed in the 28th over by pacer Amit Singh, leaving the stage set for the Jadhav-Paradkar show.
Maharashtra scored 330 for 4 in 50 overs. Singh and leg-spinner Salil Yadav Shared two wickets each for Gujarat but gave away 60 and 73 runs in their 10 overs respectively. Gujarat, too, began their innings on a poor note as they lost hard-hittng batsman Asad Pathan (8) and one-down wicketkeeper batsman Avi Barot (6) by the fifth over.
However, Panchal first stabilised the innings in the company of Manpreet Juneja (20) and then launched a counter- attack along with skipper Niraj Patel, who made a belligerent 64 of just 53 balls with the help seven fours and one six.
Panchal and Patel added 114 runs in 17.1 overs for the fourth wicket as the visitors looked in control of the situation.
But Patel`s dismissal off experienced Maharashtra pacer Samad Fallah, who ended with figures of 4-48, in the 31st over with the score at 192 and the run-out of the seasoned campaigner Bhavik Thakkar (3) in the next over, saw Maharashtra seize back the initiative.
Without much support left, Panchal was left to wage a lonely battle. He was eventually caught at long-off by Jadhav off left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar and his dismissal all but signalled the end of Gujarat`s resistance.
Talking to reporters after the match, Jadhav, who in addition to his century also pouched three catches, admitted to having been satisfied too soon earlier and hoped that today`s knock was a sign of better things to come.
"I used to get satisfied too soon earlier. However, I have tried to change it. Hopefully, things will change for me from today. I was instructed to make full use of the batting power play from the 36th-40th over and I was trying to play accordingly," he said about his knock.
Brief scores: Maharashtra 330-4 in 50 overs (Kedar Jadhav 107 not out, Nikhil Paradkar 87 not out, Rohit Motwani 71, Ankit Bawne 52; Amit Singh 2-60) beat Gujarat 287 all out in 45.2 overs (Priyank Panchal 129, Niraj Patel 64; Samad Fallah 4-48) by 43 runs.