Harbhajan leads Punjab fightback
Saurashtra bowled out for 170, visitors require 304 to win on final day
Harbhajan Singh led from the front as his four-wicket haul brought Punjab right back into the match on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy semifinal against Saurashtra here on Saturday.
Harbhajan grabbed four for 60 -- his best figures in the current Ranji season -- as Saurashtra were bowled out for a paltry 170 which meant Punjab needed 349 in 109 overs to win. The hosts had gained a commendable 178-run lead in the first innings.
At stumps on day four, the visitors were 45 for two, needing another 304 runs. In-form players Jiwanjot Singh and Taruwar Kohli were dismissed by left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat.
However, Punjab’s chances will depend on how the trio of Ravi Inder Singh, Mandeep Singh and Uday Kaul negotiate the spin twins -- offie Kamlesh Makvana and left-arm spinner Vishal Joshi.
Punjab made a spirited comeback after being dismissed for 299 in the first innings with Harbhajan opening the bowling alongside Siddharth Kaul, who snapped three for 53.
It was the senior spinner who removed the stodgy veteran Shitanshu Kotak (53), Aarpit Vasavada (6) and Kamlesh Makvana in one of his spells as Saurashtra from a relatively comfortable position of 102 for one lost seven wickets for the addition of 28 runs.
Harbhajan got appreciable turn and bounce as none of the Saurashtra batsmen looked comfortable during the 26 overs that he sent down.
Saurashtra (I Innings): 477.
Punjab (I Innings, O/n 294/9): Jiwanjot Singh lbw Joshi 68, Ravi Inder Singh c Shah b Joshi 74, Taruwar Kohli c Kotak b Unadkat 59, Mandeep Singh c Vasavada b Joshi 20, Uday Kaul (run out) 31, Amitoze Singh c Jogiyani b Unadkat 5, Bipul Sharma c Vasavada b Trivedi 4, Harbhajan Singh b Trivedi 33, Siddarth Kaul c Jogiyani b Unadkat 1, Sandeep Sharma b Joshi 2, Sarabjit Ladda (not out) 1. Extras (W-1) 1. Total (all out, 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.
Bowling: Jaydev Unadkat 24-6-56-3, Siddarth Trivedi 22.1-8-46-2, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 25-1-86-0, Kamlesh Makvana 21-4-52-0, Vishal Joshi 18-2-59-4.
Saurashtra (II Innings): Shitanshu Kotak c & b Harbhajan 53, Sagar Jogiyani c Jiwanjot b Bipul 29, Rahul Dave lbw Harbhajan 23, Jaydev Shah c Amitoze Singh b S Kaul 2, Sheldon Jackson (not out) 44, Aarpit Vasavada c U Kaul b Harbhajan 6, Kamlesh Makvana c Mandeep b Harbhajan 0, Vishal Joshi c Mandeep b S Kaul 0, Jaydev Unadkat b S Kaul 0, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja lbw Ladda 5, Siddarth Trivedi lbw Bipul 0. Extras (B-4, LB-2, NB-2) 8. Total (all out, 63 overs) 170.
Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-102, 3-109, 4-117, 5-123, 6-123, 7-130, 8-130, 9-169.
Bowling: Siddarth Kaul 16-5-53-3, Harbhajan Singh 26-6-60-4, Sarabjit Ladda 13-5-30-1, Bipul Sharma 7-2-15-2, Mandeep Singh 1-0-6-0.
Punjab (II Innings): Jiwanjot Singh c Vasavada b Unadkat 11, Ravi Inder Singh (batting) 10, Taruwar Kohli c Kotak b Unadkat 13, Mandeep Singh (batting) 11. Total (for 2 wkts, 19 overs) 45.
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-30.
Bowling: Jaydev Unadkat 6-2-16-2, Kamlesh Makvana 4-0-15-0, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 6-2-4-0, Vishal Joshi 3-0-10-0.