Ranji Trophy: Karnataka play out draw against Saurashtra

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Cheteshwar Pujara. PC: KSCA

After recording a big victory over Mumbai, Karnataka saved themselves from an embarrassing innings defeat at the hands of Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy Elite group clash at Rajkot, on Tuesday.

The hosts took home three points virtue of first innings lead while the visitors settled for one.

From winning the toss and electing to bat, Saurashtra had complete control over the game while Karnataka missed their star players due to national duty. This was an immense opportunity for the Karnataka bench to showcase their potential but failed miserably.

Batting first, Saurashtra hammered an unassailable 581/7 with their star batsman Cheteshwar Pujara leading from the front with 248 while seasoned Sheldon Jackson made 161. The duo’s knock had Karnataka bowlers toiling hard. Adding more to their woes, Prerak Mankad also made 86 from the lower order.

Having spent hours in the sun tackling the hosts’ batters, Karnataka’s batting was out of sorts with skipper Jaydev Unadkar (5/49) striking at regular intervals. Off-spinner Kamlesh Makwana (3/27) too joined the party to bowl out Karnataka for a meagre 171. Opener R. Samarth (63) showcased nerves of steel to keep the bowlers at bay while the rest succumbed to the swing and spin. Down the order, all-rounder Praveen Dubey contributed a decent 46.

Trailing by a huge 410 from the first innings, Unadkat asked Karnataka to follow-on. In an attempt to save the game, Rohan Kadam (42) was promoted up the order with Samarth (74). The duo managed to read the conditions and continued their march to safety before they were packed. In-form Devdutt Padikkal (53 not out) and captain Shreyas Gopal (13 not out) played out till the end to save the domestic powerhouse from a humiliating defeat.

Brief scores: Saurashtra (I innings): 581/7 in 166 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 248, Sheldon Jackson 161, Prerak Mankad 86, J. Suchith 2/129, Pavan Deshpande 2/98, Praveen Dubey 2/80) drew with Karnataka (I innings)b: 171 all out in 79 overs (R. Samarth 63, Praveen Dubey 46, Jaydev Unadkat 5/49, Kamlesh Makwana 3/27) & (II innings): 220/4 in 89 overs (Rohan Kadam 42, R. Samarth 74, Devdutt Padikkal 53 not out, D. Jadeja 2/97).

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