Pujara kept his composure at the crease for 221 minutes but kept losing partners at the other end.
Mumbai: Gujarat’s bowlers followed the good work from Chirag Gandhi and lower batting order to leave Rest of India reeling at 206/9 in the Irani Cup match at Brabourne Stadium here on Saturday. Gandhi earlier scored 169 to help Gujarat post 358 in the first innings along with a wagging tail.
Rest skipper Chesteshwar Pujara stood tall amidst the ruins with 86 before top-edging to Prathiv Patel while attempting a hook off seamer Ishwar Chaudhuary (1/28).
He was the seventh RoI wicket to fall on a day dominated by young bowlers of the Ranji Trophy champions. Left-arm slow bowler Hardik Patel (3/73) and seamer Chintan Gaja (3/46) led the way while Mohit Thadani scalped two. Hardik bowled unchanged in his 25 overs.
Gaja struck early by having opener Abhinav Mukund (8) edge to Samit Gohel who snapped up a ripper at slip. RoI’s Mukund had dropped a catch early on at third slip and Shahbaz Nadeem followed suit by spilling one at gully.
Pujara joined local boy Herwadkar and post lunch, both batsmen started to cut loose. Herwadkar 48 (82b, 7x4, 1x6) used his feet to hit Karan Patel for six but fell next over dabbing Hardik Patel to forward shortleg fielder Dhruv Rawal. The duo put up 68 runs for the second wicket.
Gujarat’s bowlers thereafter maintained a tight line and kept producing wicket-taking deliveries to peg back the strong RoI batting. Karun Nair (28) took time to settle down, negotiating a tight spell from Chaudhary and Hardik but got away with two offside square boundaries. At the stroke of tea Nair tried to drive Gaja through midoff but only managed an inside edge to Parthiv.
Post tea, Thadani (2/48) produced a dream third spell (7-3-12-2) from the media box end where he accounted for Manoj Tiwary (12) and Wriddhiman Saha (0) by bringing the ball sharply in and trapping them in front.
Pujara kept his composure at the crease for 221 minutes but kept losing partners at the other end. He faced 156 balls and hit 11 boundaries before playing a loose shot. Rest of India who were 166/3 before Tiwary’s dismissal, ended the day at a precarious 206/9.
Earlier, Gandhi resumed at 136 and went ballistic, protecting Hardik Patel with efficiency. Rest of India also partly assisted with defensive tactics. Gandhi went on to make 150 before being caught and bowled by Siddharth Kaul (5/86).
Scores: Gujarat 358 (M. Juneja 47, C. Gandhi 169; Pankaj Singh 4/104, S Kaul 5/ 86) vs Rest of India 206/9 in 72 overs (A. Herwadkar 48, C. Pujara 86, C. Gaja 3/46)