Cheteshwar Pujara hit yet another big century to help Saurashtra post a formidable total against Gujarat, the defending champions, on the second day of round five in a Group B Ranji Trophy 2017-18 clash. In Jamshedpur, the game between Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand was evenly poised whereas Haryana’s bowlers struck back in an impressive manner to put their team in the driver’s seat against Rajasthan in Lahli.
Gujarat were 45 for no loss at the close of play in reply to Saurashtra’s first-innings total of 570 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium. Parthiv Patel, the Gujarat captain, was on 29, while Priyank Panchal, last season’s highest run-getter, was keeping him company on 12.
Earlier, Saurashtra resumed on 311 for 1 but Gujarat didn’t have to wait long for their first wicket of the day, as Chintan Gaja removed Snell Patel for his overnight score of 156. Sheldon Jackson (2) and Ravindra Jadeja (8) followed in quick succession but Pujara stayed firm at the other end. Pujara brought up his 150 off 266 balls while adding 69 runs for the fifth wicket with Jaydev Shah (46).
Siddharth Desai, the left-arm spinner, broke the stand with Shah’s wicket and also accounted for Pujara, who made a brilliant 182. But there was no respite for Gujarat’s bowlers as Prerak Mankad and Chirag Jani took the total past 500. Mankad scored a 77-ball 62 before getting out to Hardik Patel. The last three wickets added another 51 runs to the total as Jani remaining unbeaten on 46.
Desai was the most successful bowler for Gujarat, picking up 4 for 154, with Gaja chipping in with 2 for 77.
Jharkhand were 220 for 5, trailing Jammu and Kashmir’s first-innings total of 376 by 156 runs at stumps on a topsy-turvy second day at the Keenan Stadium.
In morning, J&K resumed their innings from 357 for 6. Owais Shah and Punit Bisht, the two overnight batsmen, took the score to 371 and looked good for more, but Varun Aaron had other ideas. In a single spell, he removed Shah (84), Aamir Aziz (0), and Bisht (115), with Shahbaz Nadeem accounting for Mohammed Mudhasir (0). Aaron registered figures of 4 for 54, with Nadeem, Sonu Singh, and Sunny Gupta claiming two wickets apiece.
In response, Nazim Siddiqui and Anand Singh provided Jharkhand with a brisk start, putting on 117 for the opening wicket. Siddiqui was the first to be dismissed – stumped off Aziz – for a 69-ball 70. But after that, wickets fell at regular intervals. Parvez Rasool accounted for Utkarsh Singh (0) and Anand (68), while Mudhasir removed Saurabh Tiwary (25) and Ishank Jaggi (13) to reduce Jharkhand to 197 for 5.
Ishan Kishan (11) and Kumar Deobrat (13) avoided further damage and were holding the fort at stumps.
Rajasthan were reeling at 74 for 7 against Haryana when the second day’s play ended at the Chaudhry Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium. Earlier, after Haryana were reduced to 99 for 7 on the opening day, Harshal Patel’s 83 guided his side to a respectable 223.
Harshal and Rohit Sharma, the overnight duo, added 46 runs for the eighth wicket. The stand was broken when Aniket Choudhary dismissed Rohit for 28. Harshal then joined hands with Ajit Chahal to stitch another crucial stand of 81. Chahal was out lbw to Ashok Menaria for 22 when the total was 223. In the next over, Deepak Chahar removed Harshal to end the innings. Harshal’s innings, lasting 108 balls, included five fours and four sixes. Aniket Choudhary (3 for 37) and Pankaj Singh (3 for 60) were the most successful bowlers for the visitors.
Rajasthan’s innings never got going as Harshal, opening the bowling for the home side, dismissed Dishnat Yagnik (6) in the seventh over of the innings. Amitkumar Gautam, the other opener, fell soon after for 10 off Poonish Mehta. Amit Mishra, the skipper, accounted for Robin Bist (3) just before tea to leave Rajasthan 31 for 3.
Menaria and Mahipal Lomror tried to offer some resistance but Haryana’s bowlers kept on striking. Mishra was the most successful bowler with 2 for 19, while five others picked up a wicket each.