A strong performance from Saurashtra’s middle-order ended all lingering hopes of an Andhra comeback on the penultimate day of play in the fourth quarter-final in Ongole. Half-centuries from Avi Barot, Prerak Mankad, and DA Jadeja helped the visitors stretch their lead to 658 runs.
Caution over style was Saurashtra’s mantra for the day at the CSR Sharma College Ground. Resuming play at 93 for two, with the lead already at 376, the visiting batsmen patiently dismantled a tired-looking Andhra attack. Overnight batsmen Barot and Vishvaraj Jadeja fell early in the day, but one after another Saurashtrian batsmen kept playing cameos to leave the hosts frustrated.
Then, at six down for 198, Mankad walked in and pressed the accelerator button, hitting 12 fours en route his 85, and added 72 with Arpit Vasavada. He was later joined by Jadeja, who himself struck seven fours in his 60 — the duo putting on an 80-run stand in next to no time. Despite both falling late in the day, Karnataka reached 375 for nine at stumps.
Jyothi Sai Krishna was the best bowler for Andhra with figures of four for 47, while pacers Mohammad Rafi and C Stephen picked up three and two wickets respectively.
Brief scores: Saurashtra 419 all-out in 146.5 overs (Chirag Jani 121; Yarra Prithviraj 3-51) & 375/9 in 123 overs (Prerak Mankad 85; Jyothi Sai Krishna 4-47) lead Andhra 136 all-out in 78.2 overs (CR Gnaneshwar 43; Jaydev Unadkat 4-42) by 658 runs.