Ranji Trophy: Gaja's full screen helps Gujarat regain control

RAJKOT: The derby clash has come alive. Not giving in to circumstances, but inclining them at their own will, Chintan Gaja place the ball rolling first with the bat and then with the ball on the third day of the Ranji Trophy semifinal in the Saurashtra cricket association Stadium in Rajkot on Monday. As hitter number 10, he took the fold when Gujarat they staggered at 155 to eight. The 25-year-old sews a crucial association of 87 races with Rujul Bhatt and then it aggravated more misery in Saurashtra, casting a menacing spell where it swept through the entire superior order of the hosts with a five-wicket course.

Gaja's batting style is no surprise to those who have followed him since his early days. Having batted in the first order and in the middle during his 16-year-old days, the 25-year-old took his third fifty out of Ranji's season, where he hit 61 of 103 who were studded with four six and six four. He was skilled and brave against some good bowling of the hosts, plundering the Saurashtra attack. He came back with amazing figures of 6-3-14-5.

Bhatt, who made a comeback after being dropped in the quarterfinal match against Goa in Valsad, was instrumental in stabilizing Gujarat’s scoreline from the other end. With a carefully weaved innings of 71 off 122 balls, Bhatt justified his inclusion in the playing XI. The duo of Bhatt and Gaja helped Gujarat find their batting rhythm back that jarred on Saurashtra’s ears.

Jaydev Unadkat &cothoughittookfirstinningsleadof52runs,butthatwasnevergoingtobesufficientgiventheirfeebletop-orderandgujarat’sbowlingmight.thebackboneofthehosts’battingattack,sheldonjacksonhecouldnotreplicatehisheroicfirstentriesandwasfiredbyaduckinagajainstallment.onstumps,saurashtrahadtakenanadvantageof118runsand66for5.thefortforsaurashtraischetansakariya(32*of70balls)andarpitvasavada(23*of54)withanundefeatedassociationof51races.

previously,havinglostthepreviousday,saurashtrachiragjaniheopenedhisaccountwithabang.axarpatel(21of63)androoshkalaria(0of5balls)couldnotresistthetemptationtoputsomethingoutandsuccumb.theedgesflew,withaxarclamoringtogoalkeeperavibarotandkalariagivinganeasycapturetoprerakmankadinthefirstslide.butthenhestoppedandittookeurasdesaurashtratodelivertwogoodballs.inthesoup,nowonlyamiraclecansavesaurashtra.

briefscores:saurashtra304and66/5(chetansakariya32batting,chintangaja5/15)vsgujarat252(rujulbhatt71,chintangaja61; Jaydev Unadkat 3-86). Saurashtra lead by 118 runs.

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