ROI v Gujarat, Irani Cup 2016-17 Day 2 Review: Pujara stand out performer as Gujarat bowlers rule the day
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The newly crowned Ranji Trophy champions had yet another dominating day against Rest of India on day 2 of the Irani Trophy 2016-17. The Ranji champions Gujarat posted a reasonably big score on the board in their first innings before getting rid of ROI batsmen cheaply on the day. Gujarat posted a sizeable 358 riding on a magnificent ton by Chirag Gandhi. Later in the day, no batsmen in the ROI team barring skipper Cheteshwar Pujara could score in excess of fifty runs.
ROI finished the day on 206/9 with a trail of 152 runs. Gujarat look well in control of the match. Earlier in the day, Gujarat had resumed their innings from the overnight score of 300/8. Chirag Gandhi, who was batting on 136, walked to the middle with Hardik Patel. The duo showed brief resistance against the fresh ROI attack. Chirag showed signs of aggression as he took a toll on the bowlers straightaway. In the process, he reached his 150. However, he could not add much after that and was caught and bowled by Siddharth Kaul in the 10th over of the day 2.
The wicket meant Kaul had completed his five-for in the innings. Gandhi, on the other hand, had played a handsome knock of 169 off mere 202 deliveries with 22 fours and 2 sixes. Ishwar Chaudhary was the last man in. The number 10 and 11 frustrated the ROI bowlers for a brief while as they added 25 runs for the final wicket. Pankaj Singh was the man who finally got the wicket of Chaudhary to finish the Gujarat innings. They put on 358/10 in 102.5 overs.
The score looked a daunting one and ROI had to bat their skins out to match the effort. Akhil Herwadkar and Abhinav Mukund walked in to open the innings for ROI. While Herwadkar played his shots with ease, Mukund found it tough at the crease. Mukund was the first man to be dismissed. Chintan Gaja managed to get him caught by Samit Gohel on 8. The ROI skipper Cheteshwar Pujara was the new man in. Both Herwadkar and Pujara looked all class and elegance at the crease. They took their time to settle in and played an occasional drive every now and then. They stitched a 68 run stand for the second wicket. Herwadkar missed out on a well-deserved fifty by just 2 runs. Hardik Patel was the man who got him dismissed on 48 off 82 deliveries (7 fours and a six).
The likes of Manoj Tiwary (12) and Wriddhiman Saha (0) fell in quick succession
In walked the Indian triple centurion Karun Nair. He played well for his 45-ball 28 but that was never enough for him to give a scare to the Ranji Champions. Chintan Gaja took his second wicket when he managed to get an edge of Nair’s bat into the gloves of Parthiv Patel. Meanwhile, Pujara reached yet another First Class fifty and looked like a lone warrior. He saw wickets falling from the other end. The likes of Manoj Tiwary (12) and Wriddhiman Saha (0) fell in quick succession. Kuldeep Yadav could add just 5 to the scorecard before heading back to the pavilion.
Pujara’s resistance ended too on 86 as Ishwar Choudhary bagged the priced scalp. Pujara’s 86 came off 156 balls with 11 fours. From a score of 166/3, the ROI batted pathetically to reach 192/9. The lost 6 wickets for mere 26 runs in the last session of the play. They look shaky at 206/9 at the end of day 2 play. Gaja and Hardik Patel bagged 3 wickets each and Mohit Thadani scalped 2 wickets.
Gujarat 358/10 in 102.5 overs (Gandhi 169, Juneja 47, Kaul 5/86, Pankaj 4/104)
ROI 206/9 (Pujara 86, Herwadkar 48, Gaja 3/46, Hardik Patel 3/73)