Ranji Trophy 2018-19, Semifinals, Day 4 - Review

Ranji Trophy 2018-19, Semifinals, Day 4 – Review

With just 55 runs to win, Saurashtra have a formality to complete on the final day.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Saurashtra have inexplicably put themselves on top of their Ranji Trophy semifinal clash against Karnataka and they just have a formality to complete on the final day. Despite having a decent first innings lead and posting a more than competitive target – Karnataka just couldn’t sort things right in the final innings and got blown away in the hands of Chesteshwar Pujara and Sheldon Jackson.

The seesaw battle between these sides took so many twists and turns right from the beginning of the fourth day. Karnataka failed to add anything significant to their overnight score and got bowled out for 239 runs. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja completed a five-fer for Saurashtra as they were set a 279 run target for a place in the final.

Saurashtra got off to a horrible start in their run chase, losing three quick wickets courtesy some brilliant new ball bowling from veteran Vinay Kumar. Abhimanyu Mithun too chipped in with a wicket, which saw the visitors go 3 down with just 23 runs on board. With a mountain to climb ahead, it seemed like the eight-time champions had one leg in the final.

Mr. Dependable once again to the rescue!

Much to the delight of Saurashtra, they had their two best batsmen in the middle. Sheldon Jackson was accompanied in the middle by Cheteshwar Pujara, who didn’t receive the greatest of receptions despite his astronomic performances Down Under just a few weeks ago.

Both batsmen weathered the initial storm by bringing all their experience into the picture. They made the bowlers’ job a lot more difficult with some stupendous defensive play and upped the ante once they got set. Pujara got to his fifty in the 42nd over and his partner followed him shortly. Once their partnership went past the 100 mark, the bowlers’ job looked all the more difficult.

Pujara went about his business as smoothly as anyone can and got to his 49th first-class hundred. The visiting side raced past the 200 mark and were inching closer to the target, but the time wasn’t sufficient for them to finish the game on Sunday. Pujara and Jackson’s partnership remained unbeaten on 201 and their side just needs 55 runs more to setup a pulsating finale against Vidarbha.

Brief Scores

Karnataka vs Saurashtra

Karnataka first innings: 275 in 100.3 overs (Manish Pandey 62, Shreyas Gopal 87, Srinivas Sharath 83*; Jaydev Unadkat 4/56)

Saurashtra first innings: 236 all out in 71 overs (Snell Patel 85; Ronit More 6/60)

Karnataka second innings: 237 all out in 80 overs (Shreyas Gopal 61, Mayank Agarwal 46; Jaydev Unadkat 3/35)

Saurashtra second innings: 224/3 in 74 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 108*, Sheldon Jackson 90*; Vinay Kumar 2/48)

Saurashtra need 55 runs to win

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