Irani Cup 2016-17, Day 3, Review: Panchal, Gandhi put Gujarat in command
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Gujarat continued to dominate the proceedings in the Irani Cup encounter on the day 3. They managed to restrict Rest of India to 226 in their first innings. With a handy lead of 132 runs, they looked in total control of the match. Despite losing quick wickets, they still managed to finish the day 3 with a score of 227/8. Fifties from Priyank Panchal and Chirag Gandhi ensured that the innings did not fall apart midway. With a lead of 359 runs, they are arguably assured of a result in their favor in the match.
Earlier in the day, ROI resumed their overnight score of 206/9. Pankaj Singh and Mohammad Siraj frustrated the Gujarat bowlers for the last wicket. Siraj smacked 26 off 31 balls with 3 fours to take the ROI total to 226. Chintan Gaja finally broke the 10th wicket stand that lasted for 34 runs. He got rid of Siraj and managed to get him caught by Manpreet Juneja. He finished with figures of 4/60 to be the pick of the bowlers.
Gujarat openers Samit Gohel and Priyank Panchal walked in to the middle with their side leading by 132 runs. Pankaj Singh struck early for ROI as he dismissed Gohel for just 1. Dhruv Raval and Panchal then added 38 runs for the next wicket before Raval was sent packing by Siraj. Skipper Parthiv Patel walked in to join Panchal at the crease. Meanwhile, the leading run getter of the recently concluded Ranji Trophy, Priyank Panchal reached his fifty in style. He eventually departed on 73 0ff 135 balls with 9 fours and was dismissed by Siddharth Kaul.
Patel looked good for his 53-ball 32 with 3 fours. He, however, failed to convert his good start and perished to a delivery by Shahbaz Nadeem. Manpreet Juneja failed to add much to the total. Juneja was Siraj’s second scalp on the day and had to walk back after scoring 12. Chirag Gandhi, the man who scored 169 in the first innings, continued his good form with the bat.
Karan Patel gave some support to Gandhi at the crease. Gandhi showed supreme touch as he mixed caution with aggression with ease. The leading wicket taker of Ranji season this year, Shahbaz Nadeem struck for the second time on the day as he removed Karan Patel on 15. Nadeem managed to shatter the stump work of Karan. Mohit Thadani came in at number 8 to join Gandhi at the crease. Chirag Gandhi managed to reach yet another fifty in the match.
Thadani gave a brief resistance of 31-ball 11 before becoming Nadeem’s third scalp of the day. Nadeem then struck yet again to make short work of Chintan Gaja on 2. By the end of the day, ROI had managed to pull things back by restricting Gujarat to 227/8 in 79 overs. However, they are yet to see the back of in-form batsman Chirag Gandhi. He remained unbeaten on 55 on the day. For ROI, Shahbaz Nadeem was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4/53. Gujarat now lead by 359 runs.
Gujarat 358/10 (Gandhi 169, Juneja 47, Kaul 5/86, Pankaj 4/104)
ROI 226/10 (Pujara 86, Herwadkar 48, Gaja 4/60, Hardik 3/79)
Gujarat 227/8 (Panchal 73, Gandhi 55*, Nadeem 4/53)