Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Pujara century leads Saurashtra to the final
Thanks to Cheteshwar Pujara's unbeaten 131 and Sheldon Jackson's 100, Saurashtra defeated Karnataka by 5 wickets to enter into the final of 2018/19 Ranji Trophy.
Starting the fifth day on 224 for 3, Jackson and Pujara continued to play with positive intent. Jackson reached his century off 216 balls and then was soon dismissed by Vinay Kumar for 100 runs.
Jackson and Pujara added 214 runs for the 4th wicket. Karnataka took the second new ball soon after 80 overs to get something out of the game. Arpit Vasavada and Pujara added 37 runs for the fifth wicket.
After Ronit More dismissed Vasavada for 12 runs, Prerak Mankad hit the winning runs and helped Saurashtra win the match by 5 wickets. Pujara remained not out on 131 runs.
It was an amazing semi-final between Karnataka and Saurashtra. Earlier, Karnataka captain Manish Pandey had won the toss and decided to bat first. Jaydev Unadkat bowled a special spell to reduce Karnataka to 30 for 4.
Manish Pandey, Shreyas Gopal and Sharath helped Karnataka recover and post 275 runs in their first innings.
Despite Snell Patel's 85, Saurashtra were bowled out for 236 in their first innings and conceded a lead of 39 runs. Ronit More was the pick of the bowlers for Karnataka by taking 6 for 60.
Karnataka, in their 2nd innings, did not bat well as they were bowled out for 239 runs. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja took 5 for 78 in the second innings and Jaydev Unadkat took three wickets.
Chasing the target of 279 runs to win, Saurashtra were reduced to 23 for 3 before Pujara and Jackson put on a marathon 214 runs stand for the 4th wicket. Jackson scored a brilliant century. Pujara remained not out on 131 and helped Saurashtra win the match.
Saurashtra will take on Vidarbha in the final which begins on February 3.
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) lost to Saurashtra - 236 in 71 overs (Snell Patel 85, Sheldon Jackson 46, Cheteshwar Pujara 45, Ronit More 6/60) and 282/5 in 91.4 overs (Pujara 131*, Jackson 100, Vinay Kumar 3/75) by five wickets