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Saurashtra battle hard in Ranji final

Snell Patel
 NAGPUR, Feb 5: Saurashtra batsmen survived nasty body blows from Umesh Yadav during their gallant fight against Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy final, which is now on even keel after third day.

Resuming at a precarious 158 for five, Saurashtra’s lower order batsmen showed remarkable gumption and grit to take the first innings to 307, just five short of hosts’ first innings total.

With the first innings lead virtually nullified, Vidarbha in their second innings lost skipper Faiz Fazal (10) and R Sanjay (16) to left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (2/36) before ending the day at 55 for two. The hosts now lead by 60 runs with reliable Wasim Jaffer (5) and Ganesh Satish (24) at the crease.

There are six sessions left in the match and Saurashtra, who have had a happy knack of chasing down fourth innings totals, will certainly fancy their chances.

Overnight batsman Snell Patel (102) completed his first century of the season and when India pacer Umesh Yadav sent him back after smacking one on his helmet, Saurashtra were still 128 runs away from Vidarbha’s total of 312 all out.

Patel had also taken one hit on his hand as Yadav seemed unplayable with his raw pace and bounce. The chubby wicket-keeper batsman was later taken for an MRI scan, which came clear. – PTI

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