Chasing 312 runs in fourth innings in India is a nearly impossible task. And, if it is Day-5, it gets even stiffer. However, the spirited Gujarat, led by captain Parthiv Patel are gunning for glory as they have replied carefully with 146/3 on board, at lunch. Parthiv was unbeaten on 53 and joined by middle-order batsman Manpreet Juneja, who was unbeaten on 29.
With just two sessions remaining in the so-far contesting Ranji Trophy final, it is still difficult to pick a favourite. So far, Gujarat’s run-chase has been like a see-saw. While the first half belonged to defending champions Mumbai, Gujarat staged a comeback strongly in the second half – thanks to the counter-attacking mode operated by Parthiv Patel and Manpreet Juneja. The middle-order duo have added a vital 57-run stand, with luck favouring the Gujarat captain.
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Mumbai seamer Balwinder Sandhu was near perfect with the ball, as he bowled in the right areas, at a gentle pace around 118kph, getting the ball to move in both the ways, causing difficulties for the Gujarat batsmen to pick up the line. Sandhu got rid of season’s highest run-getter Priyank Panchal in his very first over of the day. While Bhargav Merai had no answer to that beautiful delivery that bowled him, while he was on 2.
This is turning out to be one amazing match.The Ranji finals deserves to be like this.Keep going PP and Shardul Thakur.
— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) January 14, 2017
Samit Gohel fell victim to yet another umpiring error. He was looking solid on 21 before given caught behind despite there being a huge gap between bat and ball.
The pitch has played well so far. There is still bounce and movement for the bowlers and the ball is coming on to the bat nicely. This has virtually put Mumbai spinners out of game and Aditya Tare would be looking at Abhishek Nayar and Shardkul Thakur to produce some magic here.