Ranji Trophy: More's five-for leaves the match evenly poised

Saurashtra was 227 for seven at stumps on day two after bowling out Karnataka for 275 early in the first session.

Ronit More (right) celebrates the wicket of Saurashtra opening batsman Harvik Desai.   -  Sudhakara Jain

What looked like an unplayable wicket in the first session on day one turned sweet for Saurashtra batsman Snell Patel in the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Karnataka at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday. The stumper-batsman scored a patient 85 (15x4) that helped Saurashtra end the second day at 227 for seven.

Karnataka pacemen Ronit More and Abhimanyu Mithun kept a tight length. They almost snatched the momentum from Saurashtra when star player Cheteshwar Pujara nicked a short ball to wicketkeeper Sharath Srinivas in the 18th over. But the decision went against the host.

Along with Patel, Pujara kept out the tricky balls and left the deceptive ones to work around his way for 45 runs off 99 deliveries. The India international top-edged a Mithun delivery after the same bowler was denied his scalp when he was on one.

After losing Harvik Desai for 16 (3x4) – caught by Manish Pandey at second slip off More – early, Patel started setting up a tent on the wicket with different partners throughout the day. He started confidently, slowed down in the middle overs and accelerated towards the end against the spinners. 

As it happened

Meanwhile, Vishvaraj Jadeja (5) also lost his concentration to send down a nick to Sharath off a More stunner.

Patel and Pujara started the recovery with a 74-run partnership for the third wicket.

Patel’s well-planned knock ended in a poor fashion as he tried to pull a Shreyas Gopal delivery that was going down leg. Sharath held on to his balance to take the catch without any difficulty.

Sheldon Jackson showed some resistance for his 46 off 62 balls (4x4, 2x6) but he too fell prey to More’s off-stump line venoms collected safely by Sharath.

Prerak Mankad (0) and Kamlesh Makvana (1) fell in quick succession as More completed his fourth five-wicket haul of the season with 5/54.

Credit must also be given to Sharath for claiming five catches behind the stumps.

Earlier, the Karnataka innings that resumed at 264/9 lasted 50 minutes for 11 runs. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja got the wicket of More to restrict Karnataka to 275. Sharath remained unbeaten on 83.

Brief scores: Saurashtra 227 for seven (Snell Patel 85, Sheldon Jackson 46, Cheteshwar Pujara 45; Ronit More five for 54) trails Karnataka by 48 runs
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