Ranji Trophy semifinals, Day Four: Saurashtra in command after Arpit Vasavada ton

Catch live updates and analyses from the two semifinal contests — between Saurashtra and Gujarat, and between Bengal and Karnataka

Saurashtra's Arpit Vasavada scored 139 in the second innings. - VIJAY SONEJI

Welcome to Sportstar's live coverage of the fourth day of the two semifinal contests.

 

STUMPS

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).

RESULT

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

 

UPDATES

A great day for Saurashtra after having been put under enormous pressure on Day Three. Arpit Vasavada and the lower order ensured Saurashtra enlarged its lead considerably before being bowled out. Vasavada was patient but played his strokes when the opportunities arose, and now Gujarat will have to ensure a similarly productive day with the bat tomorrow to get the win.

In Kolkata, the day belonged to Mukesh Kumar, who precipitated Karnataka's collapse. Karnataka was bowled out for 177 as Bengal booked its berth in the Ranji Trophy final.

Join us for Day Five, tomorrow at 9.30am for all the action from Rajkot. Until then, it's goodbye.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Samit Gohil survives a probing over from Jaydev Unadkat, and it's stumps, at the SCA stadium in Rajkot. He receives deliveries on a good length, just outside the off-stump line, and he manages not to nick any of them.

Gujarat has an uphill task ahead, on Day Five.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | First boundary for Samit Gohil, on the 26th delivery he faced. He gently pushes at a full-length delivery outside off-stump, and gets a four through cover. He moves to 5. Gujarat 7 for 1.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Priyank Panchal goes for a golden duck, he's now gone eight innings without a half-century. Jaydev Unadkat's full, wide delivery is squeezed to point, where Dharmendrasinh Jadeja takes the catch. Gujarat 1 for 1.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Vasavada takes on the short ball from Nagwaswalla and hooks it for six over the head of the fine-leg fielder. But minutes later, he falls, playing the pull and handing the deep square-leg fielder a catch. His responsible innings ends at 139; Saurashtra is bowled out for 274.

Gujarat's target: 327.

Arpit Vasavada celebrates his century. - VIJAY SONEJI

 

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Dharmendrasinh Jadeja falls to the short delivery. This time, he tried to fend the ball away from his shoulders, and gloved it to the wicketkeeper. Jadeja goes for 21, and Saurashtra is nine down now. The lead has crossed 300.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Medical attention for Axar Patel after he drops a catch off Dharmendrasinh Jadeja at square leg. It was a short delivery from Arzan Nagwaswalla, outside leg stump - he was following the batsman who shuffled to leg - and Jadeja pulled hard. It went straight to Axar, who dropped it.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | A reprieve for Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, who edges one of the seamers and the ball flies through the gap between second slip and gully. Jadeja wants to play his strokes; he's already struck four boundaries in his short stay at the crease so far.

 

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Another wicket for Chintan Gaja. He bowls a full delivery, on an off-stump line, on a good length, and Mankad gets a nibble on it as it makes its way to the wicketkeeper. Gaja has seven now, Saurashtra eight down for 222. It's tea.

Although Saurashtra has the edge, it's still anybody's game.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Priyank Panchal drops a catch at gully. It was coming to his left at head height; he went for it, but it spilled out of his hands. Reprieve for Prerak Mankad, who went for an extravagant stroke to a full delivery on an off-stump line. He would have been dismissed for a duck.

School kids at the cricket in Rajkot. - VIJAY SONEJI

 

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | The breakthrough arrives, finally, and it comes through Chintan Gaja. He ensnares Chirag Jani; the delivery is full, outside off, and Jani nicks it to second slip.

Jani departs for 51. Saurashtra seven down for 214. The lead is 266. Gaja's wicket was his sixth in the innings. He's having a terrific outing.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Vasavada tucks the ball to leg off Chintan Gaja to get to his century. A beaming smile from Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat in the dressing room; it's been a rescue act from the left-hander. Karsan Ghavri, the coach, stands and claps as well.

Saurashtra's Arpit Vasavada cuts. - VIJAY SONEJI

 

Gujarat took the second new ball but hasn't been able to secure any breakthrough with it. Just after Vasavada got to the landmark, he survived a leg-before shout. It appeared close, but wasn't quite; the ball pitched outside the leg stump before hitting the batsman on the pad.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Jani plays a drive off Axar Patel and collects a single to reach his half-century. At the other end, Vasavada needs two more to get to his century.

In full flow: Arpit Vasavda plays a square drive. - VIJAY SONEJI

 

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | A full delivery on a middle-stump line from Nagwaswalla; Arpit Vasavada shows the full face of the bat and sweetly on-drives for a boundary. He moves to 89.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Vasavada plays a cut off a short delivery, outside off stump, and the ball flies through the vacant gully region for a boundary. Soon after, Chirag Jani greets Axar Patel in his 18th over with a six; the ball pitched on leg stump, he cleared his leg and swung the bat merrily.

The partnership is worth 80 now.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Vasavada ploughs on steadily. The partnership is 65 now. Shayan Acharya, our correspondent at the ground, informs us: Actress Rohini Hattangadi, who is in Rajkot, has turned up for the Ranji Trophy semifinal between Gujarat and Saurashtra.

Actress Rohini Hattangadi (centre) in Rajkot. - SHAYAN ACHARYA

 

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | Vasavada tucks one to leg off Axar Patel to bring up the 50 partnership. Chirag Jani plays the rest of the over safely and it's lunch. The lead is 207. The score: 155 for 6.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | The lead is now more than 200. Axar draws out an edge off Arpit Vasavada, but the ball flies past the slip fielder and to the third-man boundary. It takes him to 63. Chirag Jani, at the other end, is batting on 29. It's 149 for 6.

Bengal vs Karnataka | It's all over. Akash Deep bowls his first over of the day, and strikes. He bowls a slower ball to Abhimanyu Mithun, who attempts a huge swipe and is beaten and bowled. It's a 174-run victory for Bengal.

Mukesh Kumar is lifted on the shoulders of the players and why not? He catalysed Karnataka's collapse in the second innings today, ending up with six wickets. He was disciplined and probing.

Smiles all around in Bengal's camp and the players acknowledge the cheers from the spectators; many of them are school kids happy to see their team win.

Anustup Majumdar, who scored an unbeaten 149 in the first innings and 41 in the second, is the player of the match. His first-innings effort rescued the side after it was struggling at 67 for 6.

But the win was also scripted by the seamers - in particular Ishan Porel, who scythed through the Karnataka top order in the first innings, and Mukesh, who took six wickets in the second.

The last time Bengal was in the final was in 2006-07.

 

Bengal vs Karnataka | Abhimanyu Mithun is throwing his bat around, he's already scored 26, off 25 deliveries.

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | A tragic end to the partnership. Arpit Vasavada defends a delivery on the off-side and the batsmen decide to take on the fielder and scamper for a single. Sakariya couldn't make it; he dived but a direct hit ended the innings for him. He is dismissed for 45.

Saurashtra six down now, for 105. Vasavada, at the other end, knew immediately it was out after the direct hit. He expresses his disappointment with his bat; then, he sits down on his feet with head down.

Ishan Porel (left) celebrates with Anustup Majumdar after the dismissal of K. Gowtham. - PTI

 

Bengal vs Karnataka | A full, straight delivery, on off-stump, from Mukesh Kumar, and Ronit More gets an edge after an attempted drive; Abhimanyu Easwaran takes the catch at slip. Six wickets for Mukesh. Bengal one wicket away.

Bengal vs Karnataka | K. Gowtham isn't hanging around without attempting some big hits. He's living on the edge; he pulls Mukesh for a boundary through fine leg and follows it up with a number of bellicose strokes.

Playing one stroke too many, he perishes to Ishan Porel's short, wide delivery. He cuts hard only to find it going straight down the throat of the fielder at deep point. Eight down now Karnataka.

Ishan celebrates by going up to a fielder, handing him his red kerchief and asking him to polish his right boot.

 

Saurashtra vs Gujarat | The left-handed pair of Chetan Sakariya and Arpit Vasavada have added 80 runs for the sixth wicket. It's resuscitated Saurashtra after Chintan Gaja wreaked havoc on Day Three.

Vasavada plays a drive through extra-cover for a boundary off Nagwaswalla and then square drives for a single to move to 43.

Bengal vs Karnataka | Drawing another edge, Mukesh gets his fifth. And it's the big fish, Devdutt Padikkal. A good length delivery once again, outside off, Padikkal hangs his bat out just slightly, gets an edge and the wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami takes a simple catch.

The umpire checks for the no-ball; Mukesh nearly overstepped, but a very tiny part of his boot was behind the line as he landed. Another small slice of luck for Bengal. It's three wickets away now. Ranadeb Bose and Arun Lal in the Bengal dressing room clap and grin. The five-wicket haul is Mukesh's fourth in his first-class career. The score: 118 for 7.

Abhimanyu Mithun is the new batsman.

 

Bengal vs Karnataka | After Devdutt Padikkal plays a smooth cover drive off Ishan Porel for a boundary, he gets a slightly fuller, wider ball and tries to reach out to it for another drive. But the ball passes the bat on its way to the wicketkeeper.

Padikkal will be key for Karnataka now; he's the only recognised batsman not to be dismissed. He's batting on 62.

Bengal vs Karnataka | DRS review taken by K. Gowtham after he is given out by the on-field umpire. A good length delivery from Mukesh squared him up, the ball went past his bat, hit the thigh pad on its way to the wicketkeeper. The third umpire confirms via replays there was no bat involved. The on-field umpire reversed his decision.

Mukesh looked puzzled by it as he walked back to his bowling mark.

Bengal vs Karnataka | Three quick wickets this morning have deflated Karnataka. All three batsmen were dismissed by the right-arm seamer Mukesh Kumar. On the fourth delivery of the third over of the day, Manish Pandey fell, dismissed caught behind; on the third ball of Mukesh's next over, Siddharth K. V. departed, caught in the slips; and on the next ball, S. Sharath was trapped lbw for a golden duck.

Bengal four wickets away.

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Saurashtra's lower order needs to make up for its top-order collapse on Day Three to disallow Gujarat from running away with this semifinal contest in Rajkot. Once in the ascendant, Saurashtra fell away yesterday as Chintan Gaja blew away the top order, reducing the side to 15 for 5 in the second innings. Gaja shone with the bat as well, with his adventurous approach — he repeatedly came out of the track against the bowlers to hit sixes — scored a valuable half-century that brought down the deficit in the first innings.

At Eden Gardens, Bengal would hope to see the back of Devdutt Padikkal early; Padikkal hit a half-century on Day Three to keep Karnataka interested, in its chase of 352. Bengal needs seven wickets to reach its first Ranji Trophy final in 13 years.

STUMPS, DAY THREE

In Kolkata: Karnataka 122 and 98 for 3 (Padikkal 50 n.o.) needs 254 more runs to beat Bengal 312 and 161 (Mithun 4 for 23).

In Rajkot: Saurashtra 304 and 66 for 5 (Gaja 5 for 15) leads Gujarat 252 by 118 runs.