Senior pro Arpit Vasavada came up with a gritty unbeaten 126 to lead Saurashtra’s fightback on the third day of its Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match against Tamil Nadu on Friday.
As a result of Vasavada’s resolute century, Saurashtra ended the third day at 346/6, adrift by 76 runs. Tamil Nadu made 424 in the first innings built on N Jagadeesan’s knock of 183.
The host started the penultimate day on 107/3. Wicket-keeper Avi Barot (82) and Vasavada stitched together a 108-run stand for the fourth wicket as they tried to rebuild the innings after the top-order collapse on the second day. Barot missed his hundred by 18 runs as he edged to wicket-keeper Jagadeesan off right-arm medium-pacer K Vignesh. Another right-arm medium pacer M Mohammed removed Samarth Vyas (10) cheaply as the host lost half the side for 213. Young left-arm spinner M Siddharth then trapped Prerak Mankad (13) in front of the wicket even as Vasadava appeared to be running out of partners. .
The 31-year old Vasavada notched up his sixth first- class hundred and then found an able allay in number eight Chirag Jani (47 not out) as the two forged an unbroken 104-run stand for the seventh wicket. The duo negated the challenge of the TN pacers and spinners. Vasavada hammered 13 fours and one six so far and his first target would be to secure the first-innings lead for the home team as an outright result looks difficult.
Meanwhile, at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Karnataka defeated Baroda by eight wickets to qualify for the knockouts. For Karnataka, skipper Karun Nair struck an unbeaten 71 as they chased down the 149-run target in 44.4 overs and a day to spare. Karnataka had taken a firm grip on the game right from day one after bundling out Baroda for 85. Meanwhile, in Mumbai, the hosts who are already out of the tournament, took the first-innings lead against Madhya Pradesh. Opener Hardik Tamore slammed his maiden first-class hundred as Mumbai set an imposing 408-run target for MP, which ended the third day at 44/2.
Brief Scores: In Tamil Nadu 424 vs Saurashtra 346/6 (A Vasavada 126*, A Barot 82; K Vignesh 2-57) Saurashtra trails by 76 runs.
In Bengaluru: Baroda 85 and 296 (A Pathan 90, Abhimanyusingh 52; MP Krishna 4-45) vs Karnataka 233 and 150/2 (K Nair 71*; B Bhatt 2-62). Karnataka won by 8 wickets. Karnataka 6 points, Baroda 0 points.
In Mumbai: Mumbai 427 and 238/5 declared (H Tamore 113; Mihir Hirwani 4-71) vs Madhya Pradesh 258 (V Iyer 93; A Jaiswal 4-58) and 44/2. MP needs 364 runs to win.
In Lucknow: Himachal Pradesh 220 and 433/7decl (AP Vashisht 141; NR Gangta 102; Saurabh Kumar 5/121) vs Uttar Pradesh 119 and 77/4. UP needs 458 runs to win.