Arpit Vasavada’s gritty 139 propelled Saurashtra to set a challenging 327-run target for Gujarat on the fourth day of their Ranji Trophy semi-final here on Tuesday.
ChintanGaja’ fiery spell had brought Gujarat back into contention on the third day, but Vasavada’s seventh first-class hundred, and the third this season, swung the momentum in favour of the hosts.
Courtesy his ton and handy contributions from ChetanSakariya (45), ChiragJani (51) and DharmendrasinhJadeja (21), Saurashtra recovered from a dismal 15 for five to post 274 in their second innings.
They had a 52-run lead and hence the target set was 327. When stumps were drawn, Gujarat were seven for one with opener PriyankPanchal (0) back in the hut.
Earlier, resuming the day at 66 for five, Sakariya and Vasavada were going strong before their 90-run sixth wicket stand was broken by a horrible mix-up between the two, which resulted in the former’s dismissal. The hosts lost their sixth wicket on 105. Jani then joined Vasavada and played the perfect second-fiddle as the hosts took lunch at 155 for six. Saurashtra’s overall lead had by then passed the 200-run mark.
Post lunch, Vasavada and Jani kept frustrating the Gujarat bowlers. It was Gaja again, who provided the crucial break-through for the visitors by dismissing Jani in the 84th over.