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Gujarat put themselves in line for full seven points after enforcing the follow-on against Punjab on the back of a strong show by their bowlers on the third and penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match.
After declaring on 624 for 6, courtesy Priyank Panchal’s triple century on the second day on Thursday, Rush Kalaria picked four wickets for 41 runs to skittle Punjab for 247 in 85.2 overs in their first innings.
Manan Vohra top-scored with 68, while cameos from Mayank Sidhana (39), Gitansh Khera (35 not out) and Manpreet Gony (26) ensured Punjab added 113 for the last four wickets.
Hardik Patel and RP Singh complemented Kalaria by picking two wickets each.
Having to wipe out a deficit of 377, after being asked to follow-on, to prevent Gujarat from winning a bonus point, Punjab closed on 36 for 1, with Vohra (14 batting) and Jiwanjot Singh (4 batting) at the crease.
Punjab now trail by 341 runs overall with nine second innings wickets in hand.
A win for Gujarat will give them seven points, including one bonus point, and that will put them in a good position to qualify for the knock-out stage. They are at third position in Group A with 21 points from five matches before this game.
On the other hand, a loss for Punjab (17 points from six matches before this game) could mean that their qualification for the knockouts hinge on other results.
Only three top teams from Group will qualify for the knock-out phase.
Gujarat: 624 for 6 declared.
Punjab: 247 all out in 85.2 overs (Manan Vohra 68) & 36/1 (f/o) in 12.1 overs.