Ranji Trophy: Dharmendrasinh and Kushang shine for Saurashtra

Replying to Saurashtra’s 657 for eight declared, Maharashtra was skittled out for 182. Showing better purpose on the follow-on, the latter ended day three at 114 for two.

Saurashtra pacer Kushang Dineshbhai Patel in action against Mahrashtra in a Ranji Trophy match.   -  Basheer

Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (five for 41) and Kushang Dineshbhai Patel (five for 43) between them reduced Maharashtra’s first innings to rubble about three quarters of an hour before tea on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy group B cricket match at the Dr. P.V.G. Raju Sports Complex here on Saturday. Replying to Saurashtra’s 657 for eight declared, Maharashtra was skittled out for 182. Showing better purpose on the follow-on, the latter ended day three at 114 for two.

SCORECARD

Operating before and after lunch from the G.V. Ramachandra Raju end, Jadeja’s slow left arm spin tied up Maharashtra’s middle and lower orders in knots. Patel plied his fare in four spells from the Appala Raju end, the last — 9-0-19-4 — proving by far the most productive for the accurate right arm medium pacer.

The first hour spelt doom for Maharashtra when skipper Swapnil Gugale’s inner edge off Patel uprooted the middle stump. The scoring rate was a shade slack considering how batsman-friendly the pitch had been. Chirag Khurana was next to go, caught behind by Sagar Jogiyani off Jadeja. At lunch, Maharashtra wasn’t exactly sitting pretty at 113 for two.

The slide began after the mid-day meal. At the hands of Patel , the strip seen hitherto as a sleeping beauty, sprang to life. The Surat-born speedster took the wind out of Maharashtra’s sails with identical blows in the 44th over, trapping Ankit Bawne, double centurion in the previous game, leg before off the first ball and Naushad Shaikh off the last.

Murtaza Trunkwala had made himself at home in the middle even notching up a half century enroute to an 11-boundary studded 64. In a rush of blood, he played Patel round his legs, only to be picked up by long leg Shaurya Sanandia, stationed there just for that shot. Patel then sent Vishant More’s off-stump for a spin.

Rahul Tripathi then cut to his doom, gifting a simple catch to Deepak Punia at backward point. With the field tight and getting closer, the tail gave in tamely bringing the curtains down on Maharashtra’s first innings at 182. Incidentally Saurashtra had gone into the game without its pace ace Jayadev Unadkat, who was down with a fever.

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