Cheteshwar Pujara and Sheldon Jackson added 201 unbeaten runs to place Saurashtra close to victory on the 4th day's play of their 2018-19 Ranji Trophy semifinal against Karnataka at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Starting the day on 237 for 8, Karnataka were bowled out for 239 runs and set the target of 279 runs to win for Saurashtra. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja picked the last two wickets to finish with a five-for.
Veteran Vinay Kumar got the early wicket of Snell Patel for 0 as Karnataka reduced Saurashtra to 23 for 3.
However, Pujara and Jackson steadied the innings with some great stroke play to put pressure on the Karnataka bowlers. Both of them played according to the situation. At the lunch break, Saurashtra scored 68 for 3.
After the lunch break, Pujara looked more positive and punished the bad balls away for boundaries. He reached his half-century off 126 balls while Jackson made batting look easy. It was a great display of batting by both Saurashtra batsmen to play such a top quality bowling line up like Karnataka. Saurashtra went into the tea break at 128 for 3.
Both batsmen continued with their efforts and ensured that Saurashtra came closer to victory. Jackson reached his fifty off 135 balls. It was a stunning partnership by the two right-handers.
Pujara began to attack the Karnataka bowlers and reached his century off 196 balls. Despite Karnataka's efforts, Pujara and Jackson shared an unbeaten 201-run stand to ensure that Saurashtra are on the verge of reaching the Ranji Trophy final.
Saurashtra ended the fourth day on 224 for 3, with Pujara on 108 and Jackson on 90. They need 55 more runs to win the match.
Brief Scores: Karnataka - 275 in 100.3 overs (Shreyas Gopal 87, BS Sharath 83*, Jaydev Unadkat 4/50, Kamlesh Makvana 3/73, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 2/79) & 239 in 80 overs (Gopal 61, Mayank Agarwal 46, Unadkat 3/35, D Jadeja 5/78); Saurashtra - 236 in 71 overs (Snell Patel 85, Sheldon Jackson 46, Cheteshwar Pujara 45, Ronit More 6/60) and 224 for 3 in 74 overs (Pujara 108*, Jackson 90*, Vinay Kumar 2/48)