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Akash Deep picked up three wickets and Avi Barot and Vishvarajsinh Jadeja scored fifties while Cheteshwar Pujara, who had joined the Saurashtra side for the final, was retired hurt as Saurashtra scored 206/5 against Bengal on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy 2019-20 final at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Monday.
Here’s how the action unfolded:
While Pujara’s arrival bolstered Saurashtra’s batting line-up, Wriddhiman Saha returned to keep wickets for Bengal, who also handed a debut to Sudip Kumar Gharami.
After Saurashtra elected to bat, Harvik Desai and Avi Barot made a solid start, putting up 82-run partnership even as the Bengal bowlers tested the Saurashtra openers.
Bengal had a couple of opportunities to break the opening partnership, but two sharp chances went down in the slips as Harvik got two reprieves, first when in the 23rd over when he was on 22 and then, when he was batting on 35.
However, Bengal managed to dismiss Harvik soon after lunch as substitute fielder Abhishek Kumar Raman held on to a fine low catch off Shahbaz Ahmed’s bowling.
While Barot went on to complete a half-century, Akash Deep dismissed him for 54 to give Bengal their second wicket.
Vishvarajsinh Jadeja and Arpit Vasavada, who scored a ton in the semi-final against Gujarat, joined hands and added 50 runs together.
However, Akash Deep disturbed the timber and broke the partnership, getting Jadeja out after his 92-ball 54-run innings.
Sheldon Jackson then walked out to bat, replacing Jadeja, and he hardly wasted any time to get going, hitting three fours in the first six balls that he faced.
However, Ishan Porel trapped the Saurashtra right-hander before the wickets when he was on 14 to give Bengal their fourth wicket.
Pujara, coming out to bat number 6, then joined Vasavada in the middle. However, Pujara, after facing 24 deliveries and scoring five runs, had to leave the field after the final ball of the 77th over.
Chetan Sakariya walked in to join Vasavada as the close of play approached and Bengal made sure to pick one more wicket before the stumps as Akash Deep had Sakariya caught behind the wickets.