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Ranji Trophy 2018-19, Semifinals, Day 5 – Review

Pujara remained unbeaten on 131 and successfully took his team over the line.

Sheldon Jackson and Cheteshwar Pujara
Sheldon Jackson and Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The finalists of the ongoing Ranji Trophy have been confirmed. The defending champions Vidarbha will lock horns with Saurashtra in the title clash in the first week of February. Saurashtra, after managing to chase down 372 in the quarter-finals, have once again gunned down 279 in the fourth innings and Cheteshwar Pujara‘s inclusion has come as big boost for them.

India’s number three once again led them to a historic win by scoring an unbeaten 131 in the steep chase against a strong Karnataka side. Sheldon Jackson also supported him well and slammed one of his best centuries. The fifth day began with Saurashtra needing only 55 runs for the victory with two set batsmen at the crease. Jackson first completed a century as they marched towards the win.

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Karnataka hit back with twin strikes

Vinay Kumar castled Jackson soon after the milestone moment to infuse life in the match. There was a spring in the step of the home side players as they still had 42 runs in the bank. But Pujara was determined as ever and he didn’t give any chance to the opposition. Arpit Vasavada came out and showed good composure to score 12 runs off 35 deliveries.

But with only five runs needing for a famous victory, he was nipped out by Ronit More. However, it was too late by then as Prerak Mankad hit the winning runs to seal a historic victory. Karnataka have all the rights to complain about the umpiring decisions that went against them. Pujara was reprieved by the umpire twice in two innings and the second let off hurt them badly.

The frustration was visible on Vinay Kumar’s face. But nothing could be taken away from Pujara as he continued his great Australia tour form in domestic cricket as well.

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 131*, Sheldon Jackson 100*; Vinay Kumar 3/75)

Saurashtra won by five wickets

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