Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Pujara Helps Saurashtra Reach the Finals

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Pujara Ranji Trophy
Bengaluru: Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara plays a shot against Karnataka during the Ranji Trophy semifinal match in Bengaluru. Image Source: Indian Express

Cheteshwar Pujara’s brilliant 131* helped Saurashtra reach the finals of the Ranji Trophy 2018-19. Chasing a target of 279 in the second innings,  this team from Gujarat did it with 5 wickets remaining against Karnataka in the semifinals at Bengaluru.

Saurashtra will now face Vidarbha in the finals of the Ranji Trophy.

Saurashtra vs Karnataka – As it happened:

 

Karnataka First Innings :

Karnataka batted first on their home ground. They had a very disappointing start but captain Manish Pandey and Shreyas Gopal steadied the innings. Pandey made 62 while Gopal made 87. Wicketkeeper Srinivas Sharath also contributed 83. Karnataka was bowled out 275 in the first innings. Saurashtra captain Jaidev Unadkat picked up the most 4 wickets while Kamlesh Makvana claimed 3 wickets.

Saurashtra First Innings :

Opening batsman and wicketkeeper Snell Patel made 85 while riding on his phenomenal success in Australia – Pujara made 45. Sheldon Jackson contributed 46 while Saurashtra was bowled out for 236. Abhimanyu Mithun picked up 3 wickets and Ronit More picked up a wholesome 6 wickets.

Karnataka Second Innings :

Mayank Agarwal who was appreciated in Australia made 46 while Shreyas Gopal made 61. Abhimanyu Mithun remained not out on 37 as no other batsman made any significant contribution. Karnataka was all out on 239. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja picked up 5 wickets and Jaidev Unadkat picked up 3 wickets. Karnataka set a target of 279 in the second innings.

Saurashtra Second Innings:

 

Three wickets fell in quick succession for Saurashtra. It felt as if Karnataka will wrap it up quickly but ‘The Rock’ Cheteshwar Pujara stood between Karnataka’s victory. He made a brilliant 131. Sheldon Jackson also made a 100 as Saurashtra chased down 279.

The match was also mired with controversies. Cheteshwar Pujara twice edged the ball but the umpire failed to give the right decision. The crowd booed Pujara and called him a ‘cheater’.

Nevertheless, Saurashtra will now face Vidarbha in the finals of the Ranji Trophy 2018-19.

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Gaurav Kadam is a young sportswriter and journalist who is a huge cricket enthusiast. He is a bibliophile and a movie and American TV series buff, who is completely addicted to Netflix. Gaurav is liberal in thoughts and agnostic in deeds.

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