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Pujara’s ton guides Saurashtra past Karnataka into Ranji final

Pujara Ranji Trophy Saurashtra Karnataka

Hundreds from Cheteshwar Pujara and Sheldon Jackson helped Saurashtra storm into their third Ranji Trophy final as they beat Karnataka by five wickets.

In an evenly fought match, it was the 214 run-stand between Pujara and Jackson that became the difference between the two sides.

Playing away from home Saurashtra lost three quick wickets in the final innings but Jackson and Pujara joined hands to weather the storm and stitch a match-winning partnership of 214 runs. While Karnataka did remove two wickets on the final day, it was too little too late as Saurashtra won comfortably.

Earlier, it was Karnataka who won the toss and opted to bat first. Jaydev Unadkat was clinical on day one as he dismantled the Karnataka top-order by picking up three wickets. However, half-centuries by Manish Pandey, Shreyas Gopal and Srinivas Sharath helped Karnataka pose a decent first innings score of 275.

In response, Saurashtra posted 236 while Ronit More snared six wickets in a superb spell of bowling. But an inspired spell by Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (5/78) kept the visitors in the hunt.

Chasing 279 during the last two days on a tricky two-paced surface was always going to be difficult. Abhimanyu Mithun and Vinay Kumar picked up three wickets to leave Saurashtra struggling at 23/3.

But from thereon Jackson and Pujara took the responsibility on their shoulders and batted their side to a convincing win.

While Pujara brought up his 49th first-class ton, Jackson scored his 16th first-class hundred. Saurashtra will now face Vidarbha in the finals of the Ranji Trophy.

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