Ranji Trophy: Andhra lost patience, Saurashtra keen to bat long

Despite a 376-run lead in the quarterfinal against Andhra, Saurashtra is likely to bat for at least two full sessions on Day 4.

Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat:

Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat: "We obviously want to bat. Why leave so easily?"   -  Vijay Soneji

Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat wants his batsmen to bat for the most part of Day 4 to leave no loose ends in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Andhra at the CSR Sharma College Ground in Ongole.

After the visiting side finished at 419 on Day 2, Andhra folded for 136 on Saturday. Saurashtra didn’t enforce a follow-on and extended its lead to 376, closing the day at 93/2, with two days to go.  “We obviously want to bat. Why leave so easily? The bowlers also need some rest. The wicket was fine, and as you saw, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja got a bit of turn too,” he told Sportstar at stumps.

Andhra opener C.R. Gnaneshwar is aware of the uphill task ahead. The right-hander put up a mature show (43 off 166 balls) against a disciplined Saurashtra bowling attack by staying on the wicket for 55.5 overs. Knowing that a victory is the only way to qualify for the semifinals, he is ready to meet the demands of the fourth innings.

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“We have to try hard to get them all out, and then, bat for life. The morning session was tight. One loose shot from me changed things. I lost a bit of patience, which I shouldn’t have,” said the 22-year-old, who scored four fifties this season.

On the road to the quarterfinal, he said, “We have worked hard for the last two years to get here. So we will try the best we can do.”

Gnaneshwar possesses the classical Test mindset. Against Bengal, the unbeaten 74 off 239 balls had saved the match for Andhra. “That would be my best performance in this season,” said Gnaneshwar, who received a few tips from Hanuma Vihari ahead of the knockouts. “His advice has been very tactical and practical. He was part of the side for the first few games.”

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