Ranji Trophy: Saurashtra’s fightback leaves Punjab with 200 to get on Day 5 | Cricket News

RAJKOT: Fighting half-centuries from skipper Arpit Vasavada, Chirag Jani, Prerak Mankad and Parth Bhut helped Saurashtra make a comeback in their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Punjab on day four on Friday.
Having conceded the first innings lead to Punjab, Saurashtra recovered to score 379 in their second innings to set the opposition a 252-run target.
Vasavada (77) and Jani (77) shared a 160-run stand for the fifth wicket before Mankad (88) and Bhut (51) shared a valuable 92-run stand for the eighth wicket.
The game is nicely poised going into day five with Punjab needing 200 runs with eight wickets in hand. Pukhraj Mann (17 batting) and night watchman Siddarth Kaul (2 batting) were in the middle at close of play.
With the pitch offering a lot of turn, 2020 Ranji champions Saurashtra will back themselves to complete the job on Saturday. It will need a special batting effort from Punjab to reach the semi-finals.
Saurashtra got a shot in the arm when they removed the opening pair of Prabhsimran Singh and Naman Dhir, who both struck fine hundreds in the first innings to take Punjab to 431.
Dhir was the first to be dismissed as he made room to drive a turning ball from left-arm spinner Parth Bhut, only to edge it to first slip. Tempers flared in the middle with bowlers appealing at almost everything and Punjab batters were not amused.
Prabhsimran departed in the final over before stumps as he missed a fast and straight ball from Bhut, trapping him lbw.
Brief Scores:
Saurashtra: 303 and 379 all out in 120.1 overs (Arpit Vasavada 77, Chirag Jani 77, Prerak Mankad 88; Vinay Choudhary 7/179).
Punjab 1st innings: 431 all out and 52/2 in 23 overs (Pukhraj Mann batting 17, Siddarth Kaul 2 batting; Parth Bhut 2/30).


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