: Jaydev Unadkat caused much damage to Punjab in pursuit of 349 in the fourth innings in order to beat Saurashtra and enter the final of the Ranji Trophy.
The left-arm seamer received an official caution from umpire Rob Bailey in his last over for trespassing the danger area on his follow-through. Just as he wreaked havoc with Punjab’s grand first innings plans in the post-tea session on Friday, Unadkat got into the wicket-taking act after his team was dismissed for 170 in the second innings at the SCA Stadium here on Saturday.
He induced nicks from Jiwanjot Singh and Taruwar Kohli, while Aarpit Vasavada and Sitanshu Kotak converted catches in the slip cordon as the home team moved closer to its first championship final in Ranji history. Punjab was 45 for two at stumps on the penultimate day.
The fourth day of the semifinal began with the Punjab first innings folding up in the first ball of the fourth over when Harbhajan Singh heaved his bat aimlessly and was bowled by seamer Siddharth Trivedi. In front by 178 in the first innings, Saurashtra advanced confidently with two half-century stands between Kotak and Jogiyani, and Kotak and Rahul Dave, but once Dave was adjudged leg-before, Saurashtra lost its way and was shot out on a pitch playing plenty of tricks.
Harbhajan scalps four
It took a while for Harbhajan to spur his team on after conceding a big lead, and he himself showed the way taking four wickets in a post-lunch session where he bowled 12 overs and conceded just 24. Seamer Siddharth Kaul turned out to be an able ally, taking the wickets of Jaydev Shah, Vishal Joshi and Unadkat.
Left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma provided the breakthrough in opener Jogiyani and dismissed last man Trivedi as Saurashtra’s second innings declined from 102 for two to 170 in 25 overs.
The scores :
Saurashtra — 1st innings : 477.
Punjab — 1st innings : Jiwanjot Singh lbw b Joshi 68, Ravi Inder Singh c J. Shah b Joshi 74, T. Kohli c Kotak b Unadkat 59, Mandeep Singh c Vasavada b Joshi 20, U. Kaul run out 31, Amitoze Singh c Jogiyani b Unadkat 5, Bipul Sharma c Vasavada b Trivedi 4, Harbhajan Singh b Trivedi 33, S. Kaul c Jogiyani b Unadkat 1, S. Sharma b Joshi 2, S. Ladda (not out) 1; Extras (w-1): 1; Total (in 110.1 overs): 299.
Fall of wickets : 1-128, 2-152, 3-195, 4-252, 5-252, 6-261, 7-267, 8-272, 9-287.
Saurashtra bowling : Unadkat 24-6-56-3, Trivedi 22.2-8-46-2, D. Jadeja 25-1-86-0, Makwana 21-4-52-0, Joshi 18-2-59-4.
Saurashtra — 2nd innings : S. Kotak c & b Harbhajan 53, S. Jogiyani c Jiwanjot b B. Sharma 29, R. Dave lbw b Harbhajan 23, J. Shah c Amitoze b S. Kaul 2, S. Jackson (not out) 44, A. Vasavada c U. Kaul b Harbhajan 6, K. Makwana c U. Kaul b Harbhajan 0, V. Joshi c Mandeep b S. Kaul 0, J. Unadkat b S. Kaul 0, D. Jadeja lbw b Ladda 5, S. Trivedi lbw b B. Sharma 0; Extras (b-4, lb-2, nb-2): 8; Total (in 63 overs): 170.
Fall of wickets : 1-50, 2-102, 3-109, 4-117, 5-123, 6-123,7-130, 8-130, 9-169.
Punjab bowling : S. Kaul 16-5-53-3, Harbhajan 26-7-60-4, Ladda 13-5-30-1, B. Sharma 7-2-15-2, Mandeep 1-0-6-0.
Punjab — 2nd innings : Jiwanjot Singh c Vasavada b Unadkat 11, Ravi Inder Singh (batting) 10, T. Kohli c Kotak b Unadkat 13, Mandeep Singh (batting) 11; Total (for two wkts. in 19 overs): 45.
Fall of wickets : 1-16, 2-30.
Saurashtra bowling : Undakat 6-2-16-2, Makwana 4-0-15-0, Jadeja 6-2-4-0, Joshi 3-0-10-0.