Ranji Trophy 2023-24: Yuvrajsinh, Parth Keep Saurashtra Alive Despite Lacklustre Batting Performance

Cheteshwar Pujara was dismissed for a duck against Maharashtra in the second innings.

Cheteshwar Pujara was dismissed for a duck against Maharashtra in the second innings.

Despite a poor batting performance, Saurashtra remain in contention to secure the win over Maharashtra who are at 104/5 with 104 runs required to win.

Saurashtra would be eyeing a victory following fine bowling performances by spinners Yuvrajsinh Dodiya and Parth Bhut, who both grabbed two wickets apiece to leave Maharashtra struggling at 104/5, still 104 runs adrift of the 208-run target, in a Ranji Trophy Group A match here on Saturday.

On a day when veteran India batter Cheteshwar Pujara failed for the second time in the match, departing for a duck, Saurashtra still managed to set a challenging total for Maharashtra, courtesy of a 93-run partnership between tail-enders Chirag Jani (43) and skipper Jaydev Unadkat (45).

Together, the duo lifted Saurashtra from a precarious 69 for 8 to 164 all out, which helped the defending champions set a fighting total.

READ MORE: Ranji Trophy 2023-24: Aryan Juyal, Karan Sharma’s Double Centuries Put UP in Front; Mumbai Maintain Lead Over Bengal 

The entire Saurashtra top-order fell like ninepins, with opener Harvik Desai, Pujara and Bhut departing for nought in the second innings as Maharashtra’s left-arm spinner Hitesh Walunj bagged a career-best 8/70.

Walunj, who was also the most successful bowler on Day 1 returning excellent figures of 6/93 in 26 overs, also bagged a career-best match-haul of 14 wickets.

But the 30-year-old spinner’s effort seemed to be going to waste as Maharashtra batted carelessly in the second innings to surrender the initiative.

READ MORE: Ranji Trophy: Karnataka Slip to 90 for 6 After bundling out Railways for 155 on Day 1 

At stumps on Day 2, the entire Maharashtra top order had been sent back, with Siddharth Mhatre (11 not out) and Taranjitsingh Dhillon (6 not out) at the crease.

With more than 100 runs still to get, it would be an uphill task for Maharashtra to turn around the match on Day 3.

Saurashtra’s Dodiya (2/38) got rid of young Maharashtra opener Kaushal Tambe for 16 before Bhut (2/24) grabbed two quick wickets to have the opponents reeling at 3/62 from their hardly fought hard.

Brief scores:

In Solapur: Saurashtra 202 and 164 in 43.2 overs (Chirag Jani 42, Jaydev Unadkat 45; Hitesh Walunj 8/70) vs Maharashtra 159 and 104/5 in 27 overs (Yuvrajsinh Dodiya 2/38, Parth Bhut 2/24).

In Jamshedpur: Manipur 170 vs Jharkhand 473/5 in in 117 overs (Utkarsh Singh 116, Saurabh Tiwary 105 batting, Anukul Roy 97 batting).

In Jaipur: Rajasthan 432 in 130.2 overs (Salman Khan 52, Deepak Hooda 77, Kukna Ajay Singh 83; Harsh Dubey 3/110) vs Vidarbha 140/2 in 41 overs (Yash Rathod 68 batting).

In Rohtak: Services 108 and 78/4 in 21.3 overs (Rajat Paliwal 50; Anshul Kamboj 3/16) vs Haryana 103 in 39.2 overs (Rahul Tewatia 31; Varun Choudhary 3/31, Pulkit Narang 3/19).

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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