Kerala’s Sanju Samson and Gujarat’s Parthiv Patel hogged the limelight with swashbuckling centuries against Saurashtra and Rajasthan respectively on the third day of the sixth round of Ranji Trophy 2017-18.
In the other Group B game, Ram Dayal’s five-wicket haul kept Jammu and Kashmir in the game against Haryana.
Rajasthan were 183 for 4 at stumps in their second innings at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium, trailing Gujarat by 265. Earlier, Gujarat, riding on the centuries from Priyank Panchal, Bhargav Merai, and Parthiv, declared their first innings on 601 for 4.
Gujarat resumed their innings on the second day on 450 for 3, with Parthiv continuing to bat aggressively. He and Manprit Juneja added 105 for the fourth wicket off 150 balls. Parthiv eventually fell to the left-arm spin of Mahipal Lomror for a brilliant 173 off 172 balls, studded with 21 boundaries.
Juneja might have looked less assertive but that was only in comparison to Parthiv. His unbeaten 83 came from 100 deliveries, with the help of eight fours. He and Rujul Bhatt added 53 for the fifth wicket, taking the score past 600 before the home side declared with a mammoth lead of 448.
Rajasthan didn’t have a great start to their second innings, with Siddharth Desai removing Amitkumar Gautam (seven) with only nine runs on the board. Chetan Bist and Robin Bist consolidated the innings with a 115-run stand before Desai came back to remove Chetan. Chetan’s innings of 54, lasting 98 balls, contained eight fours and a six, while Robin fell to Bhatt for 81 to make it 181 for 3.
Shubham Sharma, who was sent as a nightwatchman, lasted only four balls and was lbw for one to Piyush Chawla. At stumps, Arjit Gupta was batting on 32, with Lomror keeping him company at the other end.
Haryana were 161 for 9 at the close of play at the Chaudhary Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium in Lahli, after bundling out Jammu and Kashmir for 176 and gaining an eight-run first-innings lead.
J&K resumed on their overnight score of 175 for 7 but their innings lasted only 11 balls in the third morning as the last three wickets could add only a single run. For Haryana, Ashish Hooda registered figures of 3 for 38, with Ajit Chahal taking 3 for 64.
The J&K bowlers didn’t let Haryana run away with the game as Dayal and Mohammed Mudhasir ran through the lineup, reducing the home side to 74 for 5. Rajat Paliwal and Rohit Sharma, the wicketkeeper, added 54 runs for the sixth wicket. The stand was broken when Rohit was dismissed for 18 by Dayal. Amit Mishra, the captain, didn’t last long either, falling to Dayal for one in his next over.
Paliwal was eventually dismissed for 45, caught off Mudhasir to make it 147 for 8. At stumps, Haryana were leading by 169, with Chahal and Hooda at the crease. Dayal took 5 for 42 from his 26 overs, while Mudhasir chipped in with 2 for 28.
Saurashtra were 30 for 1 at stumps at the St Xavier’s College Ground, chasing a target of 405 after Kerala declared their second innings on 411 for 6.
Rohan Prem and Jalaj Saxena resumed batting with overnight score 69 for 1, but the day belonged to Samson who smashed a 180-ball 175, hitting 16 fours and eight sixes. Samson came in to bat after Dharmendrasinh Jadeja dismissed Prem for 44. Samson and Saxena added 58 for the third wicket, of which Saxena contributed just eight. Saxena was also dismissed for 44 off Jay Chauhan.
Samson and Arun Karthick added 214 for the fourth wicket. Jadeja once again broke the stand, this time removing Samson. Arun Karthick fell soon after for 81 to Chauhan. His innings, lasting 132 balls, consisted of seven fours and a six. Salman Nizar hit three sixes in his unbeaten 21-ball 34 before Kerala declared their innings. Jadeja was the most successful bowler for the visitors, taking 4 for 153, while Chauhan chipped in with 2 for 126.
Saurashtra started their second innings cautiously before Avi Barot fell to Sijomon Joseph for six. But Snell Patel (15) and Robin Uthappa (8) ensured there was no further damage when it was stumps.
Earlier, in the first innings, Saurashtra had posted 232 in response to Kerala’s 225, gaining a slender lead of seven runs.