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Ranji Trophy 2019-20, SF: Day 3 Wrap

Gaja shines for Gujarat; Bengal-Karnataka game set for interesting finish.

By Ameya Tilak in

Chintan Gaja led Gujarat’s fightback against Saurashtra while Karnataka versus Bengal game headed towards an interesting finish as the third day of the Ranji Trophy 2019-20 semifinal came to an end on Monday.

Here’s how the day’s play panned out:

Gaja played a pivotal role with the bat and ball as Gujarat made a stirring fightback into the semifinal against Saurashtra in Rajkot.

Gujarat resumed the day’s play on 119/6 and added 133 runs to their overnight score on the back of Rujul Bhatt’s 71 and Gaja’s 61. The two joined hands when Gujarat were 155/8 and added 87 runs as Gujarat managed to limit Saurashtra’s lead to 52 runs after being reduced to 97/6 at one stage of their innings.

Gaja, then, ran through the Saurashtra’s batting line-up, reducing them to 15/5, scalping all the five wickets.

Chetan Sakariya and Arpit Vasavada though stitched an unbeaten 51-run partnership as Saurashtra ended the day at 66/5, stretching their lead to 118 runs.

At the Eden Gardens, Bengal set a 352-run target for Karnataka. Resuming the day’s play at 72/4, Bengal added 89 runs more to their overnight score before being bowled out for 160.

While Anustup Majumdar, whose gritty 149* led Bengal’s recovery in the first innings, scored 41, Sudip Chatterjee scored 45. The two had their share of luck. While Chatterjee survived a hit-wicket because of a no-ball, DRS came to Majumdar’s aid.

For Karnataka, Abhimanyu Mithun and K Gowtham picked up four and three respectively.

Needing 352 runs to win, Karnataka’s chase did not start on a good note as Ishan Porel, who had taken five wickets in the first innings, dismissed KL Rahul for zero.

Devdutt Padikkal, who was promoted to bat at number three, and R Samarth then added 57 runs together.

However, Bengal picked up two wickets in the space of 19 runs as Karnataka lost Samarth and Karun Nair off the bowling of Akash Deep and Mukesh Kumar respectively.

Manish Pandey and Devdutt Padikkal though made sure that Karnataka did not lose any more wickets before stumps as they took the team to 98/3, with the left-hander batting on 50 and Pandey scoring 11*.