Ranji: Jogiyani, Jackson centuries power Saurashtra to big lead

Centuries by Sagar Jogiyani (130, 261 balls, 17 x 4, 2 x 6) and Sheldon Jackson (122, 175 balls, 13 x 4, 6 x 6) saw Saurashtra take a 224-run first innings lead over Vidarbha in their Ranji Trophy quarter-final at the Dr. P.V.G. Raju-ACA Sports Complex ground here on Thursday.

Sheldon Jackson was severe on the spinners; he smote them in an arc stretching from long off to long on.   -  Basheer

Centuries by Sagar Jogiyani (130, 261 balls, 17 x 4, 2 x 6) and Sheldon Jackson (122, 175 balls, 13 x 4, 6 x 6) saw Saurashtra take a 224-run first innings lead over Vidarbha in their Ranji Trophy quarter-final at the Dr. P.V.G. Raju-ACA Sports Complex ground here on Thursday. In fading light, the latter in its second essay replied with 17 for no loss.

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Cheteshwar Pujara perished early in the morning. A little tentative when negotiating an Umesh Yadav delivery seaming away from him, his snick was gloved by Jitesh Sharma. Arpit Vasavada’s forward defensive to a Shreekant Wagh delivery, leaving the batsman, ended in an edge to second slip Wasim Jaffer.

Jogiyani then assumed the mantle of sheet anchor, combining well with Jackson to grind the Vidarbha attack. When Saurashtra went for lunch at 199 for three, Sheldon had 66 off 96 balls against Jogiyani’s 76 from 164.

Post-meal attack

After the mid-day meal, Jackson was on overdrive, before long outpacing his partner by a distance. To the three sixes he had in the first session, he added as many more in the second. Severe on the spinners, he smote them in an arc stretching from long off to long on. With one such boundary-clearing blow that sailed over the sight screen, he notched up his second century of the season, off just 120 balls. The first had come against Jammu and Kashmir.

The flamboyance of Sheldon’s stroke was followed up by dropping to his knees and putting the Sign of the Cross. In contrast, Jogiyani’s trek to three figures took 209 balls but the opener made the milestone in equally lavish fashion, sending the sphere well over the long on ropes. The duo had made the most of an easing wicket, which tipped the scales in its favour.

It took a peach of a delivery from Umesh to send back Sheldon, the reverse swing from the aging ball foxing the batsman and uprooting his leg stump. Vidharbha took the new ball shortly after, which Yadav deployed with telling effect to squeeze a snick out of Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Shah. A half-hearted cut by Jogiyani off Aditya Sarwate was clutched by Jaffer at first slip. Yadav (five for 81) and Sarwate (four for 63) then mixed a potent speed-spin cocktail to clean up the middle order and tail.

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