Ranji Trophy: Cheteshwar Pujara steers Saurashtra into final on Day 5

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First Published 28, Jan 2019, 12:20 PM IST
Ranji Trophy: Cheteshwar Pujara steers Saurashtra into final on Day 5
Highlights

Pujara, who was 108 not out overnight, continued his good work as Saurashtra successfully chased down 279 with five wickets to spare, in the first session on Day 5 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Bengaluru: Cheteshwar Pujara remained unbeaten on 131 and steered Saurashtra into the Ranji Trophy final on Monday (January 28).

Pujara, who was 108 not out overnight, continued his good work as Saurashtra successfully chased down 279 with five wickets to spare, in the first session on Day 5 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Also read: Pujara gives batting tips to Karnataka batsman Nischal

Sheldon Jackson, who was 90 not out yesterday, completed his century but soon fell to paceman R Vinay Kumar. He hit 100 off 217 balls with 15 fours and was involved in a match-winning 214-run partnership with Pujara for the fourth wicket.

Saurashtra had resumed the day needing 55 to book a spot in the final against Vidarbha and they reached there losing two wickets (Jackson and Arpit Vasavada) on Monday. They scored 279/5 in 91.4 overs.

Pujara's undefeated 131 took 266 balls and the right-hander, who had benefited from a wrong umpiring decision on 34, hit 15 fours. He was at the crease for 449 minutes.

Speaking after the match, Pujara said the team is determined to win the Ranji Trophy. The final starts on February 3.

"All of us are excited. Winning the Ranji Trophy title is something that all of us are looking forward to. We were in the final twice, this time we have a good opportunity to win the final. We have a good team. Hopefully, we will continue the good performance and not worry too much about the final and play our normal games," Pujara said.

Pujara, who won the Man-of-the-series award in India's historic Australia Test rubber triumph recently, said the team believed that could win the semi-final and they did it.

"I think we believed in ourselves. Partnership (with Jackson) was crucial. We were under pressure when we were at 23/3. We thought a good partnership is needed. Looking at the first innings... I thought that once the ball gets old, it's easier to bat," he added.

On Sunday, few fans had booed Pujara and called him “cheater” for not walking about edging a Vinay Kumar delivery to wicketkeeper Sharath Srinivas.

Brief scores

Karnataka 275 (Shreyas Gopal 87, Srinivas Sharath 83; Jaydev Unadkat 4/56) and 239 (Shreyas Gopal 61, Mayank Agarwal 46, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 5/48, Unadkat 3/35) lost to Saurashtra 236 (Snell Patel 85, Ronit More 6/60) and 279/5 in 91.4 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 131 not out, Sheldon Jackson 100, Vinay Kumar 3/75)

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