Rajkot, Nov 15 (IANS): India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja helped Saurashtra beat the Railways on the final day of Round 2 of the Ranji Trophy at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Thursday. Chasing 186 to win on the final day after Railways put in a solid effort for 331 in their second innings, Saurashtra were in a spot of bother at 65/4, but Jadeja scored an unbeaten 48 to take his team home with three wickets in hand.
Jadeja first combined with an 86-run stand with Sheldon Jackson (54) to put Saurashtra on course and then, despite, losing two more wickets, used all his experience to see his team through. Earlier, it was Jadeja's 178 not out in the first innings that had propelled Saurashtra take a 148-run lead over the Railways. Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Delhi, Kerala, Assam Aiming to Register Big Victories in Round 2.
The Railways were skittled out for 200 in the first innings with Jadeja bagging four wickets. However, in the second innings, the Railways batted well and scored 331 riding Harish Tyagi's 93 and Anureet Singh's 44. Jadeja again got three wickets in the second innings.
In reply, chasing 186 for victory, Railways' Avinash Yadav dented Saurashtra claiming the first four wickets to fall, before Jackson and Jadeja put their team on course for a victory. Yadav finished with 5/88. The win takes Saurashtra to nine points and to the top of the table for the time being.
In another Group A game, Manprit Juneja came good for Gujarat to help the side draw with Chhattisgarh.Gujarat bagged three points to consolidate its position in second place in Group A after a first-innings lead proved crucial.
Gujarat, who had defeated Baroda by nine wickets in the opening round, are neck and neck on nine points with table-toppers Saurashtra, sitting with a higher net run-rate. In Nagpur, left-arm spinner Jagadeesha Suchith's nine for 103, his best bowling figures in first-class cricket, helped Karnataka bag three points against defending champions Vidarbha on the final day of their Group A game.
At the Motibaug Cricket Ground in Vadodara, Baroda bagged their first three points owing to a first-innings lead against Maharashtra. In Group B, left-hander opener Aryaman Birla cracked his maiden first-class hundred to help Madhya Pradesh salvage a draw following on as Bengal had to settle for three points in their first home match of the season.
Scion of the Birla family, Aryaman was unbeaten on 103 in his third first-class match, while Shubham Sharma gave him fine support with an unbeaten 100 on the final day. Bengal, who had a first innings lead in their last match in Himachal Pradesh, now have six points from two matches. Having taken a first innings lead over Tamil Nadu in the last match, MP now have four points. Himachal Pradesh‘s Nikhil Gangta and Rishi Dhawan halted Delhi on the fourth and final day at the Feroz Shah Kotla to ensure a draw.