Ranji Trophy Finals: Cheteshwar Pujara, Saurashtra take over by Snell Patel

Spinner Aditya Sarvatya sent the pavilion to the top three players including star batsman Cheteshwar Pujara. The current champion Vidarbha kept his head on Monday for the second day of the Ranji Trophy final in Nagpur against Saurashtra.

Pujara returned after scoring only one run, so Saurashtra went back to the backfoot. In reply to Vidarbha's 312 runs, Saurashtra have scored 158 runs for five wickets till the end of the second day's play and they are lagging behind just 154 runs. Saurashtra's hapless wicket-keeper batsman, Snail Patel, hinges on, who is playing 87 runs With them motivational Mankad is unbeaten on 16 runs. Sarvatya has taken three wickets with 55 runs.

Earlier, Vidarbha, with the help of second-half century from the lower order batsmen, especially Akshay Kernwar (unbeaten 73), got out in the first innings by scoring a challenging score of 196 for seven wickets. Akshay Wakhre played a useful innings of 34 runs and later also removed two important wickets with his off spin.

Vidarbha was backfoot on the first day, but after lower-order batting and Pujara's expensive wicket was cheap, he dumped the dice. Pujara then stepped on the crease when Saurashtra's score was 79 for two wickets. Vidarbha planted three close-ups for him and bowled his two main bowlers Umesh Yadav and Sarvevati on the bowling.

Pujara faced only one ball from Umesh and also scored a run on it, but he was a saint who troubled the batsman who smashed the Australian bowlers. Pujara played ten balls of Surrey, did not make any runs on them. A ball of servitude soon moved into the safe hands of Wasim Jaffer in the slip by the edge of his bat.

Earlier, Harbhajan Singh dismissed Harvic Desai (10) in the first over and later broke the partnership of 61 with Snell, sending the pavilion to Vishwaraj Jadeja (18). Wakhre also shocked the middle order of Saurashtra by offering the offerings Vasavada (13) and Sheldon Jackson (9).

Earlier, Vidarbha went on to score 200 runs on seven wickets and crossed the 300-run mark with a fine batting line from Karneywar. Kannivar and Vakhre shared a 78-run partnership for the eighth wicket.

Saurashtra bowlers have not been able to bowl effectively like the first day. On the other hand, Captain Jaydev Unadkat has three, while Chetan Sakaria and Kamlesh Makwana took two wickets each.