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Pujara & Jackson Tons Carry Saurashtra To Ranji Final

Sheldon Jackson completed his century while Cheteshwar Pujara remained unbeaten on 131 to guide Saurashtra to a five-wicket victory over Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 semifinal at M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.

Cricketnext Staff |January 28, 2019, 4:00 PM IST
Pujara & Jackson Tons Carry Saurashtra To Ranji Final

Sheldon Jackson completed his century while Cheteshwar Pujara remained unbeaten on 131 to guide Saurashtra to a five-wicket victory over Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 semifinal at M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.

Saurashtra will now face defending champions Vidarbha in the final in Nagpur from February 3.

Saurashtra started the day on 224 for 3, still 55 runs away from the 279-run target. Pujara and Jackson were in the middle of a double-century partnership, but a victory was not guaranteed. They had collapsed from 223 for 4 to 236 all out in the first innings. This time, they had Pujara guiding them home with a 266-ball effort. He did receive plenty of luck from umpire Saiyed Khalid on the fourth day, but Pujara's brilliance was the difference between the two sides.

The duo started sedately, chipping away at the target. Jackson, on 90 overnight, brought up his century pulling Abhimanyu Mithun to the deep square leg fence. He has been overshadowed by his senior partner, but Jackson too was instrumental in Saurashtra's position of strength.

But just when the game was slipping away completely, Vinay Kumar kept Karnataka's hopes alive with a brilliant spell. Jackson fell immediately after his century, missing one from Vinay that kept low to hit middle stump, ending the 214-run stand.

Saurashtra still needed 42 at that stage. Vinay was pumped up, as was evident from his animated celebration pointed towards Saurashtra's dressing room. He then got the second new ball to talk, having Pujara in all sorts of trouble. An outside edge that flew wide of second slip. One that nipped in past the inside edge and narrowly missed the stumps. One that swung away past the outside edge.

Pujara, though, survived all that and carried on. He took every opportunity to score, flicking, driving and punching to the boundaries. Arpit Vasavada too gave him solid company in a 37-run stand before he was undone by a short ball from Ronit More.

By then, though, Saurashtra needed just five. Prerak Mankad hit the winning runs, with Pujara watching from the other end.

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