Ranji Trophy semifinals, Day Five: Unadkat steers Saurashtra into final

Jaydev Unadkat took seven wickets in the second innings to hand his side a 92-run win.

Parthiv Patel's 93 went in vain. - VIJAY SONEJI

Welcome to Sportstar's live coverage of the fifth day of the semifinal contest in Rajkot.


In Rajkot: Saurashtra 304 and 274 beat Gujarat 252 and 234 (Gandhi 96, Parthiv 93, Unadkat 7 for 56) by 92 runs.


Parthiv and Gandhi looked solid for most of today, but as we've seen in this contest, it takes one bowling spell or a batting partnership to turn it around quickly. Unadkat did just that, for the final time, to clinch victory for his side.


Chintan Gaja played a big role in taking Gujarat this far. He scored an attacking half-century and scythed through Saurashtra's top order in the second innings to hand the advantage to his side, but yesterday, the scenario changed again, as the seasoned Arpit Vasavada came to the fore.

Today, it was Unadkat's day. Parthiv and Chirag kept their side well in the hunt with a productive second session, but it all unravelled quickly.

Rajkot is where the final is going to be, too. It'll be Saurashtra vs Bengal, on March 9. Join us, then, for the cricket. Until then, it's goodbye.


Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Fittingly, Unadkat takes the final wicket. Off a good length delivery outside off-stump, Arzan Nagwaswalla gets an edge; it flies to second slip where Harvik Desai takes a leaping catch. It caught the shoulder of the bat of Nagwaswalla.

Unadkat grabs a stump, runs and lets all his remaining energy out in celebrating the win. It's a 92-run win.

An abrupt end to the contest, as Gujarat looked in the ascendant at tea time. Unadkat's spell after tea completely changed the scenario.


Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Virtually the final nail in the coffin; now there's little hope of revival. The set Chirag Gandhi has been dismissed; he drags a good-length delivery on to his stumps. Saurashtra's players and those in the dressing room are euphoric. The ball came in a little bit; perhaps Gandhi was undone by that movement. That's the sixty-fourth for Unadkat.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Saurashtra eight down. Roosh Kalaria, the new batsman, is caught behind off left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | It's been an eventful period so far after tea. Parthiv and Gandhi collected three fours from one over, the first over of the session. But Jaydev Unadkat, against the run of play, breaks the partnership; he draws out an edge off Parthiv and the fielder at wide slip takes the catch.

And one more. Axar falls for a first-ball duck. He chips a full delivery straight back to the bowler. Unadkat takes a tumbling catch. Gujarat seven down. It's a see-saw contest.

With the wicket of Parthiv, Unadkat becomes the highest wicket-taker among fast bowlers in a single season. He has 63 wickets.


Saurashtra vs Gujarat | It's tea, Gujarat is on 206 for 5. The partnership: 142. The new ball will be due after 16 more overs.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | A drive from Parthiv to extra cover for a single, and it brings up the 200 for Gujarat. The field isn't too spread out as there are a number of fielders inside the circle, but the batsmen are still managing to take their singles. They're pushing the ball to the fielders and scampering through.

It's a fruitful partnership for Gujarat, it's well in the hunt. 127 needed now.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | A juicy half volley from Mankad; Parthiv duly plays the cover drive. That's his 11th boundary. Jaydev Unadkat comes back into the attack, and a picturesque cover drive — down on one knee for leverage — takes Parthiv into the 80s.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | A short delivery from Sakariya once again. Gandhi makes room and cuts; the ball flies fine for another four. It brings up the 100 partnership between Gandhi and Parthiv.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Short and wide from Sakariya, and Parthiv latches on to it, cutting hard to get another boundary.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | 150 up for Gujarat. In the last over before drinks, Parthiv gets a length delivery outside off-stump and he slaps it to extra cover for eighth boundary. Later in the over, he gets an overpitched delivery on middle-stump and he duly plays a straight drive to get another four.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Chirag Gandhi dispatches a good length delivery from Chetan Sakariya to the extra cover boundary via a smooth drive. It brings up his half-century. This was the 10th four of his innings. The score: 139 for 5.


Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Parthiv tucks one to fine leg off Dharmendrasinh Jadeja to get to his half-century. It's been a fluid knock from the left-hander. Gandhi, at the other end, needs six more runs to get to his own fifty. He slashes at a short, wide delivery from Jadeja to get a four through third man; the ball goes over the slip fielder's head.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Another punch off the back-foot from Chirag Gandhi, this time off left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, brings up the 100 for Gujarat. And with another boundary, Gandhi moves to 29 (42b, 6x4). It's lunch, at the SCA stadium in Rajkot; Parthiv is batting on 46 (73b, 7x4).

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Chirag Gandhi plays a powerful punch off the back foot to get a four through extra cover. It was a short delivery, slightly outside off, from Unadkat, and he climbed on to it and ended up raising his right feet off the ground as he finished his stroke.

Parthiv Patel plays through the leg side. - VIJAY SONEJI


Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Chirag Jani has his first wicket. Rujul Bhatt walks across to the off-stump to flick a straight delivery, but he mistimes his stroke and Sheldon Jackson at short midwicket takes a simple catch. Saurashtra is cock-a-hoop; Gujarat is five down now.

Did the ball stop just slightly on the pitch on its way to the batsman? Perhaps that was the case.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | It's a full, incoming delivery from Prerak to Bhargav, and Bhargav plays all around it, allowing the ball to hit his left pad. It's adjacent to the stumps, the bowler immediately appeals, and S. Ravi gives him out. The DRS was taken, but it couldn't save him. The point of impact wasn't outside the line of the off-stump, and there wasn't any bat involved either. Bhargav departs for 14 (56b, 2x4).

Time for a jig: Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat celebrates after a dismissal. - VIJAY SONEJI


Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Another costly over, this time from Prerak Mankad. Parthiv flicks him for a boundary through fine leg and soon after, cuts over the heads of the slip-fielders for another. Seven boundaries so far for Parthiv; he moves to 31. The partnership is 41.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | A loud shout for lbw, and it's not given out by umpire S. Ravi. It was full and straight, angling into Parthiv; Parthiv shaped to flick it, but instead got an inside edge on to his pad. Unadkat was puzzled by the umpire's verdict, immediately enquiring whether there was bat involved; Ravi nods his head.

On the last ball of that over, the 18th of the innings, Parthiv plays a sweet flick through leg for another boundary.


Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Parthiv whips a delivery from Chetan Sakariya using his wrist, steering it from outside off-stump to pick the gap between midwicket and mid-on and collect a boundary. On the last ball of the over, Sakariya bowls short, and Bhargav pulls to pick a boundary through long leg.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Jaydev Unadkat has dented Gujarat's top order further this morning. He got rid of opener Samit Gohil in the second over of the session; he was caught in the slips. And soon after, he got rid of Dhruv Raval as well; it was a full delivery, and he Dhruv chipped it straight back to the bowler. Gujarat three down.

Parthiv Patel and Bhargav Merai are the new batsmen; Parthiv is not holding back, he's played a solid straight drive and an uppish drive through the cover — eluding the leaping fielder at extra cover — to collect two boundaries.


Just one game will be played today, the fifth day of the semifinals, as the low-scoring contest at Eden Gardens ended on Day Four.

It's a see-saw battle at the SCA stadium in Rajkot; after Chintan Gaja handed Gujarat the advantage on Day Three, Arpit Vasavada and the lower order batted through most of Day Four to nullify it. It's still anybody's game, but Gujarat will need to bat well to get close to its target of 327.


In Rajkot: Gujarat 252 and 7 for 1 needs 320 more runs to beat Saurashtra 304 and 274 (Vasavada 139, Jani 51, Gaja 7 for 71).


In Kolkata: Bengal 312 and 161 beat Karnataka 122 and 177 (Padikkal 62, Mukesh 6 for 61) by 174 runs.