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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Ranji Trophy: Cheteshwar Pujara slams record-extending 13th first-class double hundred

With his 248 on Sunday, Cheteshwar Pujara became the third player to record seven double centuries in Ranji Trophy. He is at joint second with Ajay Sharma and two behind Paras Dogra, who played most of his first-class matches for Himachal Pradesh.

By: PTI | Rajkot | Updated: January 12, 2020 10:42:58 pm
Cheteshwar Pujara slammed 248 against Karnataka in Rajkot. (AP/File Photo)

Prolific India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Sunday slammed 248, his 13th first-class double century to help Saurashtra post a massive 581 for 7 before they declared on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Group B match against Karnataka in Rajkot.

Pujara, who on Saturday joined a select group of cricketing greats by smashing his 50th first-class century, is already the Indian player with most first-class double centuries when he completed his 12th double ton in 2017 to go past Vijay Merchant.

With his 248 on Sunday, Pujara also became the third player to record seven double centuries in Ranji Trophy. He is at joint second with Ajay Sharma two behind Paras Dogra, who played most cricket for Himachal Pradesh.

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Pujara also completed 6000 runs in Ranji Trophy during the course of his marathon knock. He and senior batsman Sheldon Jackson (161) rescued Saurashtra with a massive 394-run stand for the third wicket after they lost their two openers with just 33 runs on the board on Saturday.

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Resuming the second day on 162, Pujara went on to complete his double ton before he was dismissed for 248 off 390 deliveries, which included 24 fours and one six.

In reply, Karnataka were 13 for 1 in eight overs.

Brief Scores: Saurashtra 581 for 7 declared in 166 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 248, Sheldon Jackson 161, Perak Mankad 86; Pravin Dubey 2/80, J Suchith 2/129) vs Karnataka 13 for 1 in 8 overs.

Tare hits 154, helps Mumbai post 488 vs TN

Skipper Aditya Tare struck 154 to lead a fine lower-order rally and put Mumbai in command by posting 488 in their first innings on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match against Tamil Nadu in Chennai on Sunday.

Tare, who resumed the days on his individual score of 69, was involved in a 123-run stand for the eight-wicket with Shashank Attarde (58). Tare hit 19 fours and 2 sixes during his 253-ball knock as Mumbai added 204 runs from 59 overs on Sunday from overnight 284 for 6.

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In reply, Tamil Nadu were 66 for no loss with experienced opener Abhinav Mukund batting on 52. The Tamil Nadu bowlers toiled for five sessions before wrapping up the Mumbai innings with ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3/121) and left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore (4/125) sending down 47 and 46 overs respectively.

Ashwin could not add any wicket on Sunday after he took three on Saturday and found himself being carted for a few sixes.

The Mumbai lower-order continued to make things difficult for the home side bowlers with Tushar Deshpande (39) smashing Ashwin for three huge sixes while No.11 Royston Dias too joined the fun, hoisting B Aparajith for a big one over long-on.

Tare, who had started slowly on the opening day, hit some superb shots as the Tamil Nadu bowlers proved to be ineffective. There was turn for the spinners but the home side bowlers could not quite exploit it as they were not consistent.

Left-arm paceman T Natarajan, after a wicketless opening day, managed to pick up two scalps on Sunday, including that of Tare to a superb catch by Aparajith. When Tamil Nadu batted, Mukund and L Suryapprakash (11 batting) were off to a cautious start with the latter being ultra-defensive.

However, Mukund found his rhythm as he cracked some lovely shots on both sides of the wicket.

Speaking at the end of the day’s play, Tare said the best he could do was to lead from the front and he was happy to have done it.

“I have been given the responsibility of leading the side and I had to lead from the front. Either me or (Siddhesh) Lad had to play a big knock. Unfortunately, Lad could not. I felt I needed to be calm at the crease,” he said.

“When you are not doing well, you tend to get tight at the crease. I just wanted to keep myself calm at the crease and take it one ball at a time,” Tare said about his ninth first-class hundred.

Brief Scores: Mumbai 488 all out in 148.4 overs (Aditya Tare 154, Shams Mulani 87, Shashank Attarde 58, Jay Bista 41; R Sai Kishore 4/125, R Ashwin 3/121) vs Tamil Nadu 66 for no loss in 31 overs (Abhinav Mukund 52 batting).

At Kanpur: Uttar Pradesh 431 all out in 124.2 overs (Mohd Saif 123, Upendra Yadav 100, RK Singh 62, Almas Shaukat 48; Swapnil K Singh 3/47, Anureet Singh 2/77) vs Baroda 82 for 1 in 25 overs (Aditya Waghmode 34 batting, Vishnu Solanki 34 batting).

At Delhi: Madhya Pradesh 124 all out in 55 overs (Rajat Patidar 38; Himanshu Sangwan 6/33) and 47 for 2 in 19 overs vs Railways 244 all out in 29 overs (Dinesh Mor 45, Mrunal Devdhar 44; Kuldeep Sen 3/36, Mihir Hirwani 3/64).

Sarwate takes six as Vidarbha thrash Bengal inside two days

Bengal batting was in shambles for the second day in a row as defending champions Vidarbha cruised to a nine-wicket victory in a Ranji Trophy group A encounter riding on left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate’s six-wicket haul.

Vidarbha scored 212 in their first innings in reply to Bengal’s paltry 170 and then Sarwate spun a web on a difficult track to bowl the visitors out for 99 in their second essay. With 6 for47 in the second innings, Sarwate finished with match figures of 10 for 100. That target of 58 was achieved with minimum fuss in 13.5 overs losing skipper Faiz Fazal’s wicket as Vidarbha now have 17 points and are in contention for a quarter-final berth from the cross-pool combining groups A and B.

Bengal, on the other hand, will now find it extremely difficult after another disastrous batting performance with nine batsmen failing to reach double figures.

Veteran Anushtup Majumdar (29) was the only one who showed some resistance as Abhimanyu Easwaran’s lean patch continued. On a pitch that was slightly challenging, save former skipper Manoj Tiwary’s first innings knock, none of the Bengal players were able to show the technique to last long enough and fight it out.

Earlier, Vidarbha were reduced to 101 for 5 at one stage but the two of three Akshays in the line-up — Wadkar (49) and Karnewar (34) added 77 runs for the sixth wicket not only to surpass the Bengal total but also demoralize the opposition on a track which was spinners’ paradise.

Once the lead was 42, it was difficult for Bengal but once again, the performance was an indicator that some of the top-order batsmen barring Tiwary still remain flat-track bullies.

Brief Scores: Bengal 170 and 99 (Aditya Sarwate 6/47), Vidarbha 212 (Faiz Fazal 51, Akshay Wadkar 49, Arnab Nandi 3/51) and 61/1. Vidarbha 6. Bengal 0.

Gujarat 325. Rajasthan 142/1 (Manender Singh 61 batting).

Hyderabad 225. Andhra 237/1 (Prashanth Kumar 117 batting, Hanuma Vihari 41 batting)

Kerala 227 and 88/5 (Gurkeerat Singh Mann 4/27).

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