Ranji Trophy: Chirag Jani’s Five-fer Pushes Defending Champions Saurashtra to First Win of the Season

Chirag Jani managed to finish with figures of 9/65 in the win against Vidarbha. (Image: Instagram/@chiragjani09)

Chirag Jani managed to finish with figures of 9/65 in the win against Vidarbha. (Image: Instagram/@chiragjani09)

Chirag Jani was the star for Saurashtra as the bowler managed to pick up a total of nine wickets in the Test to push Saurashtra to get their first win of the season.

Spurred by Chirag Jani’s five-wicket haul, defending champions Saurashtra scripted their first knockout win of the season with a 238-run thrashing of Vidarbha on the third day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match here on Sunday.

Veteran Saurashtra batter Cheteshwar Pujara touched a memorable milestone in his 66-run knock, becoming only the fourth Indian batter to score 20000 First-Class runs after legends Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.

The outright win came as a big relief for Saurashtra in their knockout round aspirations after a narrow defeat against Haryana in the previous league match and a draw against Jharkhand in the season opener.

READ MORE: Ranji Trophy: Skipper Sai Kishore’s Seven Wickets Help Tamil Nadu Thrash Railways by an Innings and 129 Runs 

Vidarbha were chasing an improbable 373, but could not even offer a semblance of fight while folding for 134 in their second innings as Jani took five for 51.

Atharva Taide made a 54 for Vidarbha but they suffered batting collapse for a second time in the match after getting bundled out for 78 in the first dig.

Talking about batting collapse, Saurashtra also suffered one of their own after resuming from their overnight 205 for three.

Despite veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara making 66 off 137 balls, the visitors were bowled out for 244 in their second innings.

READ MORE: Ranji Trophy 2023-24: Madhya Pradesh Beat Delhi by 86 Runs 

They lost the last seven wickets for a mere 39 runs but by then the overall lead had touched 372.

At Jodhpur, Rajasthan also registered their first knockout win of the season with a fluent 10-wicket stroll over Maharashtra.

Maharashtra started the day from a rather stable 66 for 1 but floundered against India left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed who returned with impressive figures of 11-3-19-4.

Ahmed got good support from fellow left-arm pacer Aniket Chaudhary (3/32).

The home side needed to score 104 runs for a win, and they did that with ease going past the target without losing any wickets.

Openers Abhijeet Tomar (53 off 89 balls) and Yash Kothari (52 off 94 balls) guided Rajasthan home in a little over 30 overs.

At Delhi, captain Rajat Paliwal (111) and Ravi Chauhan (133 batting) made hundreds to place Services on the cusp of taking an important first-innings lead over Jharkhand at the end of the third day.

After bowling out their rivals for 316, Services ended the day at 315 for 3 while resuming the first innings from overnight 128 for two.

Chauhan and Paliwal milked 201 runs for the third-wicket alliance.

Brief scores: At Nagpur: Saurashtra: 206 all out & 244 all out in 89.2 overs (Vishvaraj Jadeja 79, Cheteshwar Pujara 66, Kevin Jivrajani 57; Umesh Yadav 3/42, Aditya Thakare 3/49) beat Vidarbha: 78 all out & 134 all out in 45.2 overs (Atharva Taide 54; Chirag Jani 5/51).

At Jodhpur: Maharashtra: 189 & 184 all out in 69.5 overs (Siddesh Veer 59; Khaleel Ahmed 4/19, Aniket Chaudhary 3/32) lost to Rajasthan: 270 and 106/0 in 30.3 overs (Abhijeet Tomar 53 not out, Yash Kothari 52 not out) by 10 wickets.

At Delhi: Jharkhand: 316 vs Services: 315/3 in 95 overs (Rajat Paliwal 111, Ravi Chauhan 133 batting).

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

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